Community Members Invited to Attend Earth Month Events at JJC

Joliet Junior College is welcoming the community, students, faculty and staff to take part in the school’s first official Earth Month celebrations on the Main Campus, located at 1215 Houbolt Road in Joliet.
There are activities, presentations, or events for everyone almost every day in April to celebrate Earth Month, thanks to the student-led Joliet Junior College Sustainability Initiative board (JJCSI), and Maria Rafac, JJC professor of engineering and construction technology.
Rafac said there is something for everybody this Earth Month – and she encourages students, staff, faculty and the community to attend events that interest them most. To Rafac, celebrating Earth Month and having a sustainable lifestyle is also about making healthy choices.
“Healthy people make healthy families. Healthy families make healthy communities. Healthy communities make a healthy Earth,” she said.
And it’s not just JJC – other colleges and communities across the nation are enforcing new practices to become more sustainable. Rafac added that sustainability is really a global project – with every country getting involved in some way or another.
JJCSI member and biology student Jason Krastins said he is passionate about sustainability because he has done a lot of traveling, and has seen the difference between places that are affected by pollution, and places that are not.
“Seeing how much pollution has really affected things has really made me motivated to try to help recreate the world in a better image of sustainability,” Krastins said. “It’s the only way we’re going to be able to keep humanity going in the future – by learning how to be sustainable.”
Nursing student Brittany Florescruz agreed. “If we don’t take care of the Earth, we’re not going to have a healthy, sustainable future for our children,” she said.
The Earth Month schedule of events is as follows:
• Monday, April 15 – A presentation on “The Real Food Challenge”; on the Bridge (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.)
• Tuesday, April 16 – Film series: “Vanishing of the Bees”; T-1001 (6 p.m. – 9 p.m.)
• Wednesday, April 17 – JJC Farmers Market Promo and Sustainable Gardening Mini-Fair; on the Bridge (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.)
• Thursday, April 18 – Brown Bag Lecture by biology professor Andy Neill called “Earth Day – Another Lesson in Sustainability”; in the library (noon – 1 p.m.)
• Saturday, April 20 – Community clean up; downtown Joliet (10 a.m. – noon)
• Monday, April 22 – Earth Day activities; on the Bridge (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.)
– Sustainability Exhibitor Expo
Recycled Art Show sponsored by Student Government
– Sustainability Poetry Reading sponsored by the Wordeater
– Sign the Sustainability Pledge
– Speech by Elena Maans, Dominican University sustainability coordinator
– JJC Natural Areas Tour by biology professor Andy Neill
• Monday, April 22 – Film series: Carbon Nation; A-1061 (6 p.m. – 9 p.m.)
• Wednesday, April 24 – Sustainability Tour of the Campus Center by Maria Anna Rafac, instructor of architecture, engineering and construction; A-Building lobby (11 a.m. & 1 p.m.)
• Thursday, April 25 – Mike Bryson speaks about sustainability in the suburbs; Room T-1002 (Noon – 1:30 p.m.)
• Thursday, April 25 – Make and Take Recycled/Sustainable Art and Crafts; Room A-1002 (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.)
• Tuesday, April 30 – Film Series: Gasland; Room A-1061 (6 p.m. – 9 p.m.)
• Tuesday, April 30 – Rev. Terry Gallagher speaks about the climate reality project (Noon – 1:30 p.m.)
For more information about Earth Month, contact Maria Anna Rafac at 815-280-2546, e-mail her at, or visit

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