This year’s Earth Day Festival emphasized ethnobotany, which is the study of the relationship between ethnic groups and local plants. NATALI PEREZ | THE POLY POST

Lyle Center honors Earth Day

The Lyle Center has decided to bring back the Earth Day Festival to its site. 

Professor Douglas Kent explains a little history about Earth Day, hosted by the Lyle Center.

“Earth Day has been celebrated at Cal Poly Pomona starting in the year of 2005 up until 2008. After that, the Lyle Center stopped hosting this festival until this year,” Kent said.

“I was co-chairman for two years for Earth Day. We had food trucks, vendors, news trucks were here and it was huge. We did it more for education back then, like reuse, recycle and reduce, change your lightbulbs and save water. We had solar power demonstrations here with a solar-powered car and we are desperate to get people out of their cars. We wanted to push for alternative forms of transportation, stay focused on personal health care using ethnobotany and using less polluting forms of energy.”

Many of those ideas pushed then are ideas that were still emphasized at this year’s event.

This year’s Earth Day Festival emphasized ethnobotany, which is the study of the relationship between ethnic groups and local plants. (Natali Perez| The Poly Post)

There is always the fear that people are doing harm to the planet by doing simple things such as driving cars. 

Demonstrations during this event explained how cars cause weeds to grow and that if the population continues to use cars, we would have to learn how to live in the environment the population is creating. 

An example of this, explained at the event, would be to simply eat the weeds as opposed to using a weed killer.

Benjamin Brown, a master’s student in regenerative studies and planner of the event, explains how they wanted to push the theme of respect, reconnect and revitalize. 

“We want people to come up to the Lyle Center, see the nature and feel that sense of respect.”

This year’s Earth Day emphasized ethnobotany. 

Ethnobotany, as Kent would describe it, would be “the Native American usage for plants, food, medicine, basket weaving, making dyes, making first-aid kits, huts and shelters.” 

Several booths and demonstrations at this event reflected the focus on ethnobotany. 

The Earth Day festival had several booths for students to interact with. Booths and stations included creating healing balms, painting rocks for gardens, creating and drinking herbal teas, touring the Lyle Center, and ethnobotany demonstrations. 

Future plans for Earth Day are already in the works and this is what Brown had to say about it: “Next year we plan on reaching out to the campus community. We’d like every department [to] come up here and demonstrate how they see sustainability. We want the Lyle Center to be a central hub for the campus to work together and make our campus more sustainable.”

Kent’s future plans are also to bring the campus community to the Lyle Center, as well as to promote healthy living through ethnobotany.

“I believe that healthy living can contribute to a healthy community and if we learn how to live a healthy lifestyle in a sustainable way, that our environment would improve as well,” Kent said.  

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