Events to mark Earth Day

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University of North Texas geography students help plant a tree in honor of former UNT employee Charlie Jackson in front of the Gateway Center after an Earth Day ceremony on campus Monday in Denton.
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Free food, live performances and a vendor fair will help mark Earth Day celebrations at the University of North Texas today for the annual EarthFest event.

This is the flagship event for the university’s Earth Week, held on Earth Day to show support for environmental preservation and protection, said Nicole Cocco, UNT Sustainability outreach coordinator.

“It’s one of our biggest events every year, and we’re really excited about it,” she said.

The event, held from 4 to 7 p.m. on the Library Mall, is free and open to the public.

This year, Fort Worth-based group Vocal Trash will perform break-dancing and musical acts, Cocco said.

“It’s a very full-fledged, active experience,” she said.

After Earth Day, the week will continue with an educational forum Wednesday called “What the Frack?” to educate students and community members about hydraulic fracturing. On Thursday, local chef Mikel Lawrence will teach students to make vegan sliders at the Mean Greens cafeteria from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The week will conclude Friday with a morning workshop on a new development concept called “Agriburbia” from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Room 285 of the Business Leadership Building and a final tree planting from noon to 2 p.m. outside of the Murchison Performing Arts Center.

“I think everything has something that students can take away from the events, so I feel like Earth Week is what you make of it,” Cocco said. “Hopefully, you can gain a different perspective about sustainability, meet new people and start conversations about these things.”

Off campus, there will be the Earth Day Texas festival Saturday and Sunday at Fair Park in Dallas. The annual event is free and is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. both days.

At the festival, attendees will learn about sustainability and environmental awareness in the region and how green choices can help improve not only the environment but their own health.

Students at Wilson Elementary School in Denton have also been working on Earth Day activities.

Each student traced one of their own feet to create “a wall of streaming feet” to remind people to reduce global footprints, according to staff at the school.

The project is part of a schoolwide art installation the school hopes to hang by Earth Day.

Staff Writer Britney Tabor contributed to this report.

JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.

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