President of Northeast College of Health Sciences Statement on Earth Day
On Earth Day and every day, Northeast College of Health Sciences President Dr. Michael Mestan encourages the community to reflect on our environmental impact -- at the College level and beyond:
"At Northeast we are dedicated to being good neighbors and active participants who make our ecosystems even stronger for our greater Seneca Falls and Finger Lakes communities. There's no better time to celebrate this commitment than on Earth Day.
Let us celebrate this day and commit to acting both individually and collectively to make our precious Earth healthy and sustainable for future generations. As local and global citizens, we all must honor the land on which we live and depend. We must be good stewards, not only by simply taking care of our environment but also enhancing it. It is important to leave our world better than we came to it to ensure our peoples, professions and communities thrive for many years to come. It's our continued collaborative efforts and proactive steps that will ensure a prosperous future for us all."
Honoring the Environment at Northeast
Northeast College has long taken action to be environmentally responsible, with past day-to-day actions like implementing campus recycling efforts and using energy-efficient lighting. The College has also embraced long-term initiatives to help promote sustainability on campus.
In 2018, the College created the Grow Zone, a 45-acre area that is not mowed and allows native plants and fauna to naturally populate the area. Since the Grow Zone's creation, the College has substantially reduced its carbon footprint through the elimination of the area's need for 14+ hours of mowing a week -- a savings of more than 6400 lbs. of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
Actively creating natural spaces that allow for maximum conservation efforts continue at the College with the recent initiation of the Northeast Afforestation Project. The first phase of the multi-year afforestation plan began in 2021 when 870 trees, 380 shrubs and 160 meadow plantings were added to 11 acres of campus grounds. Each year through 2023, a similar number of trees, plants and shrubs will be added to a 40 acre-span of new landscaped space that will imitate a wild Finger Lakes forest, full of mixed shrubs and under-story trees native to the region.
"Invest In Our Planet" is Earth Day's 2022 theme and aims to encourage individuals and businesses to invest in practices that can benefit the Earth. First held on April 22, 1970, Earth Day was a day of education about environmental issues, predominately in educational institutions across the United States. Now the day includes a wide range of events in more than 193 countries and is coordinated by EarthDay.org. The organization inspires more than 1 billion people to act in environmentally friendly ways.