CSUSM Plants Tree, Makes Pledges on Clean Air Day
Cal State San Marcos participated in California Clean Air Day for the second year in a row with a tree-planting ceremony and campus pledge event.
The fifth annual California Clean Air Day took place on Wednesday, but CSUSM recognized it on Thursday. Leon Wyden, vice president of Finance and Administrative Services, joined other university leaders in CSUSM’s first public tree-planting, near University Village Apartments.
“Trees are important. We have a symbiotic relationship with them, since they breathe out oxygen and breathe in carbon dioxide,” Wyden said after the ceremony. “We are very happy to do our part to improve the air around us for the benefit of our campus community.”
Also on Thursday, CSUSM held a pledge event in which students, staff and faculty took the California Clean Air Day pledge, signifying a commitment that small actions can make a difference. More than 200 pledges were made during U-hour.
Juliana Goodlaw-Morris, CSUSM’s sustainability manager, said the university is in the process of being recognized as a Level 1 arboretum. In the coming months, the Facility Services and Planning, Design and Construction departments will create a designated walking trail that will highlight the trees and campus with signage and information.
CSUSM also can now track its air quality, thanks to a grant awarded to environmental studies professor Gabriel Valle. Six real-time air monitoring devices have been installed around campus; to find out the current air quality on campus, go to the PurpleAir website.
Goodlaw-Morris highlighted a goal to increase the percentage of people who use alternative modes of transportation to get to and from campus. Currently, about 15% of the campus community bikes, walks, carpools or is dropped off.
“California Clean Air Day demonstrates that everyone can play a role in improving our air quality,” Goodlaw-Morris said. “Everyday actions, such as walking or biking to campus or making online purchases ship in one box instead of multiple shipments, make a difference.”
California Clean Air Day was started in 2018 by the Coalition for Clean Air to improve air quality in a state with some of the worst air pollution in the United States. According to the American Lung Association, 17 of the 25 most polluted counties nationally are in California, and one million annual school absences by California students are related to air pollution.
This year, 561 organizations participated in California Clean Air Day, including many other CSU campuses.
Brian Hiro, Communications Specialist
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