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April 19, 2010
By Skyler Dillon
The University of Nevada, Reno’s Joe Crowley Student Union will host an Earth Day celebration at 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., April 20. The event will feature a DJ and giveaways from Port of Subs and other vendors, plus three showings of the movie "Tapped," a documentary on the bottled-water industry, at noon, 1 and 2 p.m. in the Third Floor Theatre.
The screenings will celebrate the three-month anniversary of the Nevada Well, a touch-free, hygienic filtered-water dispenser installed on the third floor of the Student Union at the beginning of the semester. The environmentally friendly "hydration station" is expected to save more than 37,000 water bottles a year by encouraging users to refill and reuse bottles, rather than throwing them away. The maker of the station, the Haws Corporation, will give out free T-shirts and reusable water bottles at the screenings.
The Well, a popular spot for students since its unveiling, is designed to do more than encourage students to save the environment.
"We want students to have a community here on campus, and particularly at the Student Union," said Kyle Zive, manager of Joe Crowley Student Union operations. "The station helps with that by giving them another reason to stop by, to connect with other students and to feel at home."
To help illustrate that feeling of connection between members of the campus community, renowned artist Chris Lacey, who created the wildlife murals at local Cabela’s and Scheels outdoor fitness and sports stores, painted a scene around the Well that illustrates the stark beauty of the Nevada landscape and contains many unique symbols of the state such as the state fossil (ichthyosaurus), the state flower (sagebrush) and the state animal (the desert big horn sheep). Students have fun searching the mural to pick out the images where they are often disguised near rocks or trees.
"The Nevada theme of the artwork is relevant to each member of campus, and the wildlife and environment depicted relates to the goal [of the Well]," Zive said.
The Nevada Well is one of several "green" features of the Joe Crowley Student Union, which uses solar panels, recycled materials and energy-efficient appliances to reduce its impact on the environment.