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USM celebrates Earth Week


Earth Week at The University of Southern Mississippi kicked off April 18 and will continue through April 22.

The activities so far have included a nature walk, poetry night, an earth fair and Farmer’s Market.

More than 30 separate organizations set up in Shoemaker Square on April 19 to help kick off the event. A handler from the Hattiesburg Zoo brought an infant alligator that students were able to pet, and a raffle was held to attend a sloth showing.

Mississippi Power brought boxes of 10-count energy saving light bulbs. The representatives at their booth said they have attended the Earth Fair for the past seven or so years.

“The Office of Sustainability started the Earth Fair in 2009,” said Haley McMinn, assistant director of sustainability. “It’s on the week of [Earth Day] every year. The goal of [the] Earth Fair is to bring information to the community as well as students at USM. The fair also gives different organizations a chance to come together and share information.”

The Office of Sustainability had a booth present with two large containers half-full of trash. The trash was picked up from around campus Tuesday morning. The trash will be weighed Friday, and a weight should be posted to the Office of Sustainability’s social media pages.

Several different volunteer organizations attended the event such as Habitat for Humanity and Oseola McCarty.

Habitat for Humanity handed out seed starting trays as well as seeds to plant. Oseola McCarty allowed students to plant a squash seed. More information on Oseola is available at

Thoughtful Threads had a table with boxes for Goodwill, Edward’s Thrift Store and 360 Thrift Store. They encouraged students to donate old clothes so they can be reused by someone else.

For students interested in these organizations, most of them will attend the second fair April21from3-6p.m.inTown Square Park. There will be live music, a farmer’s market and door prizes.

There will be a Pollinator Celebration on the south side of the Payne Center on April 21 from 12:15 – 12:45 p.m. Concluding Earth Week on April 22, students can attend a field trip to view a self- sustainable home.

Right Way to Throw Away Day will be held at the Bobby L. Chain Airport and the Lamar County Multi-Purpose Center April 23 from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.

This event will present the Hattiesburg community the opportunity to throw away household hazardous waste.

Students interested in attending the field trip are required to register ahead of time by sending an email to [email protected].

For more information on recycling, visit or call 601-961-5171.

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USM celebrates Earth Week