PSU Earth Day: Maathai Memorial & Sustainability Site Tours

On Friday, April 20, the Penn State Center for Sustainability will host a day of free activities at the University's 9-Acre Sustainability Experience Center, as part of Penn State's Earth Week celebration.

The day's activities include bird walks, tours of the Morningstar solar home, 70' Wind for Schools turbine, community gardens, and Ecological Systems Lab- all located of off Porter Road, next to Lubrano Park at Medlar Field. Free onsite parking is available for the day, which culminates in a one-hour memorial ceremony to honor Kenyan social and environmental activist Dr. Wangari Maathai, who passed away in September 2011.

Maathai, founder of the Kenya-based Green Belt Movement, is internationally renowned as a lifelong advocate for environmental restoration, women's rights, peace and democracy. The recipient of a 2004 Nobel Peace Prize, her work centered on the planting of trees, but extended out to many inter-related aspects of society.

"Recognizing that sustainable development, democracy and peace are indivisible is an idea whose time has come," Maathai famously stated.

To honor Professor Maathai's memory and legacy, the Center for Sustainability will plant five apple trees in her name, as part of a program celebrating her life. The memorial will include music, dance, poetry, personal reflections of Maathai's colleague Ephraim Govere, and the initiation of a new annual award for Penn State students who exemplify the values that she embodied in her life's work.

"All of us at Penn State's Center for Sustainability are honored to help make this lasting connection to the life and work of Professor Maathai," said Lisa Brown, associate director of the CfS. "Her courage inspired countless people when she was alive, and her impact will only grow over the years, like her beloved trees."

The Maathai Memorial is co-sponsored by the Center for Sustainability, the Departments of Women's Studies, African Studies, African American & African Diaspora Studies, The Africana Research Center, the African Student Association, the CfS Community Gardens Club, and Penn State's Office of Physical Plant.

Friday, April 20 schedule at Penn State's Sustainability Experience Center include:

9 - 10 a.m. Bird Walk Tours of Sustainability Experience Center (SEC)
12 - 3 p.m. Gardens & Tech Tours of SEC
4 - 5 p.m. Wangari Maathai Memorial Ceremony

Read the full schedule here.


  1. thanks for posting, peter! this is going to be a really special event!

  2. I hope the event was great. We were thinking of you while we were on the air.