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Published on April 23rd, 2014 | by editor


Another Successful Earth Day Celebration!


Environmental Club president Erin Lane Escher (center), vice president Erik Castro (right) and a volunteer prepare for the celebration

Kudos to the students of the Wright College Environmental Club and many others for their creative planning, hard work, and dedication in planning and running a successful  15th Annual Wright College Earth Day Celebration, which took place on April 23, 2014. The students of the Environmental Club led the planning and management of the event, and this year, they were joined by the American Chemical Society student chapter, the Hispanic Professional Engineering student chapter, the Architecture and Veterans student organizations, along with the SGA and dozens of student volunteers.

Environmental Club officers are Erin Lane Escher (President), Erik Castro (Vice President), Krystel Hannahan (Secretary) and Jonathan Riley (Treasurer).  Club members include Gustavo Aguilera, Lilahmia Alkaissi, Lyzely Avila, Juan Cardona, Cintia Cruz, Delorenzo Figueroa, Tegan Gordon, Christina Gourley, Abigail Gray, Franklin Guallpa, Bonnie Jacson, Emma Korinek, Marian Kozak, Cristell Laenzano, Sean Miarnowski, Adriana Nowak, Hilda Pambuku, Izamar Ramirez, Rosana Rivera, Peggy Sajna, Ivelisse Silva-Rivera, Shamillah Slaughter, Kimberly Sylva, Sophie Szczelaszczyk, Diana Vleazquez, Libby Zagorski, and Elizabeth Zagorski.

Thank you for your time and all of your efforts – not just for today’s celebration, but year-round.

Wright College has held Earth Day celebrations on campus for 15 years. It is an annual opportunity to demonstrate Wright’s commitment to responsible stewardship of our environment.


This year’s theme for Earth Day commemorated the centennial of the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon. This was a native American species that numbered an estimated 3 to 5 billion birds in the early 1800’s.  By 1914, through hunting, loss of habitat, and sometimes just sheer avarice, the last two Passenger Pigeons, George and Martha, passed away in a zoo in Cincinnati.  This should be both a warning and a wake-up call to us – our actions matter and even the most abundant of resources can disappear if we don’t act responsibly.

We added three new trees to our campus arboretum, one for Earth Day, one for Arbor Day and one for graduation. These add to the nearly 600 trees we have on campus, resulting in our Tree Campus designation from the National Arbor Day Foundation for the 3rd straight year. Today we are planting species native to the upper Midwest: an American Hornbeam, whose fruit is well loved by squirrels and many varieties of wetland and prairie birds,  and two Northern Catalpas, which are known for their magnificent flowering in the spring. These add to the diversity of species, more than 35, that we have on campus.

One of the Catalpas was named in honor of Chief Engineer Pat Mannix, who is retiring this spring after more than 21 years of service at Wright College and nearly 32 years at City Colleges of Chicago. Pat has played a key role at Earth Day over the years, so this is an especially fitting tribute.


A Northern Catalpa tree was
named in honor of Pat Mannix

Thanks again to Pat, as well as to Environmental Club advisors Dave Inman and Mila Simeonovska, and all of the many, many faculty, staff and students who work to make Earth Day such a special tradition at Wright College.


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