Brookdale students, staff and community members learned about protecting endangered species, renewable energy and how each individual can make a difference in safeguarding our environment as part of the Earth Day and Week activities on campus.

Students gathered signatures for petitions to protect endangered species such as elephants, giraffes, whales, coral reefs, insects and honeybees. The New Jersey Sierra Club set up information table displays, attracting visitors and inviting questions. Visitors added to their gardens, taking advantage of the free plant giveaway.

Lexas Banfield, a sophomore in the radiology technician program and member of the Biology Club, staffed one of the endangered species stations.

“It’s about raising awareness and spreading the word,” said Banfield. “It’s heartbreaking to see what’s happening to so many of our species.”

The events also featured information poster displays on various topics.

Brookdale student Olivia Catalfan developed a poster highlighting the plight of the monarch butterflies whose numbers continue to diminish.

Student with Earth Day poster.

“There are no second chances,” said Catalfamo. “Now is the time to take action, because once these species are gone that’s it.”

“The students were very enthusiastic and put in a lot of time and effort to highlight some of the issues threatening our planet and various animal species,” said Robert Martens, associate professor and chair of the Biology Department. “The response was very positive, and our students and organizations who partnered with us helped to make a difference in getting people to think more about issues and what steps they could take.”

In addition, students and staff presented on environmental topics to help spread awareness. Brookdale students Beth Keenan, Alan Bubello, Kyle Rodney and Candace Vengersky presented “Climate Change, Deforestation, and Health Hazards: The Consequences of Factory Farming.” Rodney, an environmental science major, talked about the climate change effect of factory farming. “Climate change is something I knew about already, but I wanted to know more,” said Rodney.

Brookdale students presenting about factory farming.

Vengersky talked about her transition to a vegan diet. “I started slowly by giving up beef and pork, then chicken and poultry, and finally eggs,” she said. “The more research I did and the more I found out about the inhumane treatment, the more I wanted to become vegan.”



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Students, faculty and community members visit one of the Sierra Club information tables during Earth Day activities.

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Brookdale student Olivia Catalfan developed a poster highlighting the plight of the monarch butterflies.

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Brookdale students Candace Vengersky, Beth Keenan, Kyle Rodney and Alan Bubello presenting about the consequences of factory farming.