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  • Austin Warren

Celebrating dark skies: Earth Hour comes to campus

On Saturday, March 23, the Poetry & Opossum Society—in cooperation with the English Department, the Creative Writing Program, and Forestry Outreach Center—will be holding their Poetry in the Dark Reading during Earth Hour at Alumni Field. Between 8:30pm and 9:30pm, participants in Earth Hour will shut off their lights, go outside, and “do something—anything—positive for the earth.”

Earth Hour is a grassroots event organized by the World Wildlife Fund and held across the world. Over 414,359 people in 187 different territories participate in an effort to raise awareness of the ever-imminent environmental harms that threaten all of the Earth’s inhabitants in the not-so-distant future.

 “The next 7 years are therefore crucial to all our futures,” the Earth Hour website reads. “We have to stay under the 1.5°C climate threshold to avoid irreversible damage to our planet, and we need to reverse nature loss by 2030, ending the decade with more nature than we started, not less. To make this happen, individuals, communities, businesses, and governments must all urgently step up their efforts to protect and restore our one shared home.”

Image courtesy of Poetry & Opossum Society, English Department, Creative Writing Program, and Forestry Outreach Center

The Poetry & Opossum Society, along with all of its collaborators, invites the Berea community to participate in Earth Hour by shutting off their lights and consuming poetry under the stars—with a particular interest in “calling for collective attention around the importance of dark skies and the environmental issue of light pollution.”

Kayla Boyd, ’24, the current President of the Poetry & Opossum Society, hopes to begin a long tradition of reserving just one hour a year to raise awareness to environmental issues and organize events to celebrate dark skies.

The poetry-reading during Earth Hour will be preceded by journaling and meditation under the stars from 7:30-8pm, as well as a moonlit hike at Brushy Fork from 8-8:30pm. During these heralding events and the reading itself, Boyd hopes to rouse students from their nightly studies and invite them to celebrate the star-speckled night sky above Alumni Field.

While Boyd hopes to spark a tradition with this event, she invites other groups on campus to carry the torch:

“[I]t doesn't have to be the Poetry & Opossum Society hosting an event next year,” Boyd says. “I'd like to challenge other clubs and organizations collaborate to for the same cause and show their own takes on what an Earth Hour event looks like for them.”

For the poetry reading, it is advised to bring a blanket or towel to sit on while listening to the celestial celebrations of the featured poets.

To learn more about the Earth Hour movement, you can find their website here.

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