At the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, celebrating Earth Week is especially important as we are a sustainable campus.
I’m proud to see so many activities this week promoting ideas we value at UWSP. We featured workshops at Schmeeckle, documentaries and presentations focusing on preservation and an Eco Fair, allowing students, faculty, staff and community members to become more environmentally conscious.
These events are easy ways to be involved, and Earth Week is an important reminder of all we can do to further our sustainability at UWSP and also in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin has traditionally been known for its conservation of natural resources, as well. This state is home to many great conservationists and founders of the modern movement, including John Muir, whose birthday was Tuesday, April 21, and Aldo Leopold.
These men were leaders in conservation, creating a certain precedent for Wisconsinites about the value of our natural resources.
During a time when it is difficult to avoid conversations about budget cuts, it’s important that we know the implications of our decisions. Gov. Scott Walker in his budget proposal suggested cutting 66 positions in the Department of Natural Resources, while also giving it less autonomy.
If passed, Wisconsin will undoubtedly see a decrease in support for our natural resources and will ultimately jeopardize our tradition of conservation and of being environment supporters.
UWSP also could see a loss of funds for the College of Natural Resources and our sustainability programs, impacting our conservation habits on campus as well.
So, while Earth Week is an important time to be involved in conservation and to remind ourselves to be environmentally-friendly, it’s also a week to remember what’s important for Wisconsin and UWSP when moving forward with budget cuts.