Sustainable events in the new year

Looking into the Office of Sustainability and Campus Gardens’ plans for sustainable events on campus this semester


Courtesy of the Office of Sustainability

The Office of Sustainability and Campus Gardens have created lots of programming for the Spring 2023 semester.

Bella Ortley-Guthrie, Environment Editor

As a new year and semester begin, both the Office of Sustainability and Campus Gardens are partnering with organizations across campus to host numerous events and programs throughout the Spring 2023 semester. The Office of Sustainability’s goal is to promote sustainability and empower students to become leaders.

“You don’t necessarily have to be an environmental scientist to be doing work that’s going to help save the world,” Cat Mizzi-Orrell, communications and event specialist for the Office of Sustainability, said. “… [we’re] hoping our students leave our office and leave their time at Wake Forest ready to create a more equitable future while we’re hopefully surviving through climate change.”

Below are some events to look out for and ways to learn more:

Campus Gardens Volunteering (semester-long): At Wake Forest, students can volunteer at both the main Campus Garden, located off Polo Road, and the Three Sisters Garden, located between Palmer and Piccolo Halls. There, students can work alongside each other not only to cultivate and grow seasonal crops but also to engage with the environment. Students can register via GivePulse for volunteer shifts at the Polo Road location, with occasional shifts offered at the Three Sisters Garden as well. Depending on the weather, there will be pop-up volunteer shifts offered throughout January and February, but consistent volunteer shifts won’t start until mid-March. Around that time, student volunteers will begin planting sugar snap peas, carrots and potatoes.

Spring Equinox Celebration (March 19): The Spring Equinox Celebration will be hosted at the main Campus Garden on March 19. Various campus organizations, including Campus Kitchen and the Office of Wellbeing, will have tables and activities for students. The festival will also include garden activities where students can engage with nature and the environment.

“We want it to be a really joyous and lovely occasion for students to come out to the garden and celebrate the very first day of spring,” Mizzi-Orrell said.

Earth Month Programming (March-April): Earth Month programming will take place throughout March and April. During Earth Month, the Office of Sustainability will partner with organizations across campus to promote conversation and engagement surrounding the environment. The programming is still in the works, but students can look forward to the intersection of events and keep up to date with specifics by following the Office of Sustainability’s Instagram account, @sustainablewfu.

Wakeville (April 1): The Office of Sustainability and its 2022-23 Sustainability and Arts Intern, Gretchen Costello (’23) are working to promote “Wakeville,” Wake Forest’s first arts festival. The Office of Sustainability is offering stipends to artists whose work centers around environmental justice. They are also working alongside the student-run club Artivists to implement an exhibition composed of art made from waste materials found on campus during the festival. “Wakeville” is scheduled to occur on April 1.

Earth Talks (Mid-April): Earth Talks is a TedX-style event where students can talk and lead conversations surrounding anything involving the environment. As the dates approach, students can contact Brain Cohen, the assistant director of the Office of Sustainability, or check the office’s website:, for more information.

Champions of Change (Late March-April): Champions of Change is a campus-wide sustainability awards ceremony that honors people, faculty and students around campus that are excelling in and promoting work related to sustainability.

For more information on ways to get involved in sustainability efforts on campus, reach out to Mizzi-Orell ([email protected]) and Nathan Peifer ([email protected]).