UWL’s Earth Day celebration: Earthapooloza


Image retrieved from Grace Lopez-Johnson.

Jenasea Hameister, General Assignment Reporter

“I think there is a lot of climate anxiety, especially [seen in] people who are [college aged], so I’m hoping that Earthapooloza is an opportunity for students to see that even the little things they can do in their lives, [like] day-to-day changes, can add up and actually make a difference,” said Lopez-Johnson.

Grace Lopez-Johnson and Andrew Ericson of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse will be hosting Earthapooloza, an event that promotes Earth Day. Lopez-Johnson is the sustainability coordinator for Student Association (SA) and Ericson is the sustainability program manager.

The event will be held on Friday, April 21, from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on the Student Union lawn. Lopez-Johnson said, “Earthapooloza is designed to be a place where students can come and learn about sustainable groups on campus and in [the La Crosse] community.”

She continued, “It’s kind of a way to get more people involved and gain knowledge on what options are available to be more sustainable in our daily lives.” Lopez-Johnson added that multiple community and campus groups would be in attendance to inform students about what they do.

Lopez-Johnson said that Earthapooloza events vary due to their activities and groups. “It’s kind of broad because we have groups like Friends of the Blufflands, so they are an organization that actually goes out and does clean-up work. We also have groups that are doing book exchanges and clothing swaps and then groups that are more informational,” she said.

Another group that will be in attendance is Solar on La Crosse Schools (SOLS). According to their website, SOLS, “Educates, advocates, and fundraises to make solar energy a reality sooner for the School District of La Crosse.”

Lopez-Johnson said that SOLS would be giving event attendees more information about how solar panels conserve energy and what they are doing to implement solar lighting in different schools and buildings in the La Crosse area.

In order to invite conversation between students and organizations, the event will be set up in the shape of a circle. Organizations will be on the outside of the circle and activities will be held on the inside of the circle. Lopez-Johnson said that this would allow for more interaction.

Lopez-Johnson said that the goal of Earthapooloza is to inform students and community members about the opportunities related to sustainability in the La Crosse area. She said, “A lot of people genuinely don’t know about all the resources around them, so [Earthapooloza] is also to connect that bridge.”

Additionally, the event will have activities, prizes, food, and music. Lopez-Johnson said that she wants to make Earthapooloza a positive experience even if students are not knowledgeable about sustainability.

“I think it’s important for students to feel like they’re making a difference even if it’s not at that top regional level of change. That they can still do things in their everyday lives, but also have fun with it,” said Lopez-Johnson.

If the weather does not permit outdoor activities, Earthapooloza will take place in the entertainment cafe in the basement of the Student Union. The event is open to the public and a vegan, tapas-style dinner will be served throughout the event.

Lopez-Johnson said that if students have a meal plan, that it is preferred they swipe for a meal. If students use a meal swipe, this swipe will deduct one of their weekly meals. If a student does not want to use a meal swipe, they can just grab food and it is free.

Any questions regarding Earthapooloza can be directed to Grace Lopez-Johnson at: [email protected]

To learn more about other earth-related campus events read:

UWL Students for Sustainability hosts Climate March to cap off Earth Week
Earth Day brings week-long opportunities for celebration and volunteering at UWL.
Viewpoint: Earth Day is Every Day
Why is Earth Day Important?