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UHD Celebrates Earth Month: Learn About Sustainability and Take Action!

Girl holding soil with a sprouting plant

UHD Celebrates Earth Month: Learn About Sustainability and Take Action!

By Marie Jacinto

April is Earth Month—a time to celebrate our planet and take action to protect it—and got its start with Earth Day, celebrated annually on April 22. The first Earth Day in 1970 mobilized millions of Americans from all walks of life in the early days of the environmental movement. Since then, Earth Day has evolved into the largest civic event on Earth, activating billions across 192 countries to safeguard our planet and advocate for a brighter future.

“Supporting a healthy planet is not only important for the creatures we share the planet with, but it is ultimately linked to our own health—both now and for future generations,” said Dr. Lisa Morano, Professor of Biology and Microbiology and Director of the Center for Urban Agriculture and Sustainability.  “Earth Day celebrations are a time to remember our obligations to the earth and renew our commitment to a sustainable future.”

For Earth Day Houston on Saturday, April 20, Discovery Green is presenting a big event and even bigger challenge: GO ZERO for a waste-free event with zero trash with the help of UHD volunteers as Recycling Ambassadors. Volunteering in two-hour shifts, Recycling Ambassadors will show attendees how to sort their waste as reusable, recyclable, or compostable. Earth Day Houston is in partnership with UHD, our Center for Urban Agriculture and Sustainability, and the UHD Sustainability Council. Those interested in volunteering may still sign up!

As part of UHD’s Earth Month and 50th Anniversary observances, the next President’s Lecture is focused on our environment and green living. Entitled “From Information to Action: Sustainability Across Houston,” the discussion will take place at noon on Tuesday, April 23, in Fondren Commons of the College of Sciences and Technology building and is presented in collaboration with the UHD Sustainability Council and the Center for Urban Agriculture. Free and open to all, lunch will be provided to those who RSVP in advance.

Morano will moderate the panel of sustainability experts, including:

  • Ana Bueno, Environmental Reporter at Univision 45. Ms. Bueno is an Emmy Award-winning journalist specializing in environmental issues and climate change.
  • Jaime González, Community & Equitable Conservation Programs Director, The Nature Conservancy in Texas.
  • Naomi Kuo, Artist-in-Residence, Asia Society Texas Center. Ms. Kuo is a mixed-media and social-practice artist based in Houston.
  • 2023 recipient of The Idea Fund grant and an artist-in-residence at the Asia Society Texas Center
  • Steve Stelzer, Program Director, Green Building Resource Center, Houston Permitting Center.

Also, as part of the Earth Day celebrations at Discovery Green, Associate Professor of Design Natacha Poggio is coordinating a dynamic showcase of students’ artwork aimed at promoting environmental activism for the Water Works Festival with printing supported by the City of Houston Public Works. For the bayou at y.our doorstep,” graphic design students are visualizing the environmental, emotional, and developmental importance of Houston’s bayous for community wellbeing. Envisioning Water: the thread of life” represents a powerful dialogue between poetry and illustration around the theme of water and environmental issues. For this collaborative exhibition led by Professors Poggio (graphic design) and Laura Cesarco Eglin, Ph.D. (creative writing), design students illustrated poems written by creative writing students.

Importantly, these experts, students, and Houstonians will address global concerns about sustainability on a local level, providing the campus community and our guests with regional solutions and how the community can take action.


About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit