By Jordan Prochow
The color green has an important meaning to University of Iowa Dance Marathon, but on April 27, green took a new form for volunteers. As spring touches Iowa City, the organization added its own personal touch to the campus greenery.
Dance Marathon members planted the first of 25 trees on the west side of the Pentacrest in an effort to further the goal of becoming a carbon-neutral organization and honor the 25th year of the Big Event. The organization partnered with the Office of Sustainability, Facilities Management, and Landscape Services to set this project in motion; the tree is located near Halsey Hall and the IMU.
“We wanted to bring awareness to sustainability in our organization, because we are actively trying to engage our members in our sustainability efforts,” Dance Marathon Operations Director Hannah Lembke said. “There are many ways that we can make conscious choices about our impact on this Earth, and the tree planting was a celebration of keeping those choices in mind.”
Dance Marathon aims to become a more carbon-neutral organization, as sustainability becomes an increasing priority. Some goals include increasing sustainability awareness, developing and improving partnerships with businesses that also promote sustainable practices, and using more recycled and sustainable materials throughout events and programming.
“Sustainability is important for [the group] because we don’t want to cause harm to the environment as we work to help the kids in the hospital,” Sustainability Chair Jessica Oliver said. “As the largest student organization at the University of Iowa, we leave a large carbon footprint behind us, and it is our responsibility to do what we can to shrink our carbon footprint.”