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'Teach-in' to commemorate Earth Day Tuesday at the College Lodge
Monday, April 21, 2014

'Teach-in' to commemorate Earth Day Tuesday at the College Lodge

The College Lodge

In celebration of Earth Day, April 22, SUNY Fredonia will host a daylong teach-in on environmental topics at the College Lodge in Brocton.

Featuring presentations by more than 20 individuals, the program will include guided nature walks, lectures on a range of environmental issues, nature writing and drawing classes, sustainable refreshments, a percussion workshop and a drum circle, a meditation labyrinth, and other educational events. A painting and photography exhibit of works featuring the College Lodge property by artists Thomas Annear and James Hoggard will complement the day’s programs.

Teach-in events will be held rain or shine. Guided nature walks, invasive species pulls, and some outdoor events will still be held outside in the event of light rain. In case of heavy rain or thunderstorms, all events will be moved to the lodge interior or back porch. In the event of heavy rain, the meditation labyrinth will be canceled and the drum circle will be moved back to the 3:10-3:50 time slot. Participants are urged to dress for changeable weather.

The events, all of which are free and open to the public, will start at 9 a.m. and run in 50-minute increments until 5 p.m. Designed to showcase the biodiversity and beauty of the College Lodge property, the teach-in events are aimed at getting students and community members reconnected with nature.

The idea for the Earth Day celebration grew out recent campus initiatives to increase visits to the lodge, but it also ties in to this year’s theme, “Back to Nature.” As Earth Week Coordinator Christina Jarvis explains, “this year’s series of events is designed to get people back to nature, so we can restore the Earth, our communities and ourselves.” Incorporating a wide range of educational approaches and learning styles, the teach-in will offer opportunities to learn about different species and habitats on the lodge property and to address historical and contemporary environmental issues. Learners interested in a hands-on approach to naturalist topics can take drawing classes, a nature writing seminar, and a special workshop on building a thumb piano.

The day will begin with refreshments and exhibits at 9 a.m., and programming will start at 9:50 a.m. Early morning sessions will range from a presentation by Dr. Terry Mosher on “Birds, Blooms and Butterflies of Chautauqua County” to a “Walk with Aldo Leopold” by Dr. Michael Jabot to a session on environmental activism by Dr. David Kinkela and Dr. Jarvis. At 10:40 a.m., regional landscape painter Thomas Annear will give an artist talk on works created at the lodge. Late morning sessions, starting at 11:20 a.m., will feature a class on drawing wildflowers led by Annear, “A Walk with Robert Frost;” a lecture on “The Law, Courts and Environmental Policy” by Dr. Jonathan Chausovsky, and a discussion of environmental regulation by Dr. Melanie Pallone.

Forest at the College Lodge.

Starting at noon, several special events will run concurrently. Inside the lodge, the Faculty Student Association will host “A Sustainable Taste of SUNY Fredonia,” which will include a light, informal buffet lunch showcasing a variety of sustainable and local food options. In addition, Dr. Tracy Marafiote will create a meditation labyrinth while Spider Lawrence offers a workshop on herbal preparations and healing. At 12:50 p.m., four English faculty members will read environmental literature selections, Dr. William Brown will discuss ecological relationships and Professor Kay Stonefelt will lead a special workshop on building a thumb piano. To register for the thumb piano workshop, contact Professor Stonefelt at

At 2:20 p.m., internationally acclaimed poet Professor Aimee Nezhukumatathil will teach a nature writing workshop while instructors lead other exciting events: an invasive species pull, another drawing class, a drum circle, and a discussion of environmental justice. The final session, at 3:30 p.m., will feature a nature walk on “Identifying Spring Violets” led by native plant experts Dr. Jon and Priscilla Titus, another “Walk with Aldo Leopold,” and the presentation “What is (Wild about) Wilderness?: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act” by Dr. Marafiote.

Participants are encouraged to dress for the weather and to wear mud boots for outside events. In the event of heavy rain, outdoor events will be moved to the lodge interior or covered porch. All events are free and open to the public, and will take place at the College Lodge (8067 Route 380, Brocton, N.Y.). A free shuttle will run between the SUNY Fredonia campus and the lodge, starting at 9:30 a.m. and ending at 5:00 p.m. Buses will depart campus from the loading area near Rockefeller Arts Center and Maytum Hall, on Symphony Circle.

For more information about the teach-in or other Earth Week programming, visit For more information about the College Lodge, visit

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