A poster contest, guest speakers and a tree-planting ceremony are planned in observance of Earth Day at Missouri Southern State University. Earth Day 2016

High-school and middle-school students will submit posters, art and other entries for the Reduce/Reuse/Recycle contest. Entries will be on display from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, April 21, in Connor Ballroom in Billingsly Student Center. Judging will begin at 6:30 p.m., with the winners announced at 1 p.m. Friday, April 22.

Prizes will include $2,500 in refurbished electronics, including televisions, laptops and tablets, as well as grant money provided by the Harry S. Truman Coordinating Council.

A variety of speakers and educational booths will be offered in the ballroom on Friday.

The speaker lineup will feature:

  • 8:30 a.m. – Missouri Recycling Association: Patty Overman, “Reduce/Reuse/Recycle
  • 9 a.m. – City of Joplin: Mary Anne Phillips, “Joplin Recycling & Stormwater”
  • 9:30 a.m. – Jasper County Health Department: Tony Moehr/Steve McKarus, “Water Quality”
  • 10 a.m. – Joplin City Health Department: Dan Pekarek, “Ground Level Ozone”
  • 10:30 a.m. – Joplin City Health Department: Ryan Talken, “Zika virus”
  • 11 a.m. – Taney County Health Department: Laura Jahn/Craig Rhoads, “Norovirus”
  • 11:30 a.m. – FDA/U.S. Public Health Service: Tristian Strait, “Ebola Outbreak and How it was Handled”

Booths from student groups and environmental health and safety professionals will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the second floor of Billingsly.

Students in the Environmental Biology class will have information on display about mosquitos, sustainable agriculture, water quality issues and household hazardous waste. The Environmental Health Club will offer a limited number of complimentary kits for garden soil fertility testing and water testing of pools, pond or well water. The Biology Club will offer a booth on rain gardens and the migration of the monarch butterfly, with seed packets for butterfly milkweed plants.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the Joplin and Jasper County health departments, the Joplin Recycling Center and the Harry S. Truman Coordinating Council will also have information available.

Also on Friday, the Staff Senate and the Staff Welfare Committee will celebrate Earth Day with a tree planting at 10 a.m. in front of Reynolds Hall. Donated by the Joplin Ozark Nursery, the new Southern Lights Tree is an evergreen that can serve a double purpose – campus beautification as well as a Christmas tree for decorating during the annual Southern Lights celebration.