May 22, 2018
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College of the Atlantic scaling back Earth Day celebration

By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff

BAR HARBOR, Maine — The annual Earth Day celebration at College of the Atlantic, which has turned into one of the school’s biggest yearly events, is expected to be scaled back this year, according to school representatives.

COA officials had considered cutting the celebration altogether, according to college spokeswoman Donna Gold. She said last week that the event had become expensive and had proven a difficult event for alumni to attend, even though it had been combined with COA’s springtime alumni weekend.

But school officials reconsidered when COA students said they’d be more willing to get involved in planning and staging the event, she said.

“The students said, ‘We want to do something anyhow,’” Gold said.

COA’s Earth Day celebration is scheduled to take place at the school’s Route 3 campus from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 23.

It may be smaller than in recent years, but COA junior Jose Merlo said the event still will involve lots of activities. There will be exhibits of art by COA and local high school students, he said, as well as talks about sustainable living and community activism. There will be live music, drumming, carnival activities such as face painting, and workshops on how to start a fire, how to make a bow and arrow, how to skin an animal, and other survival skills.

Merlo said students are organizing committees to handle various aspects of the celebration, so there are still many details to be worked out. He  said he hopes COA’s Earth Day celebration will continue to be a way to celebrate diversity at the school and on Mount Desert Island and that it will continue to attract MDI residents and families.

Merlo said that Earth Day is not celebrated in his home country of Ecuador, but that people of all ages and backgrounds should learn about the importance of protecting the planet and its ecosystems.

“There is a green trend people are moving toward,” Merlo said. “The new generation needs to be aware of it.”

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