Adjacent to the modern buildings of Kent State University at Stark on Sunday was the annual Earth Day celebration, where attendees took time to consider nature and the environment.

 JACKSON TWP.  Amid the contemporary brick, steel and glass structures comprising the Kent State University at Stark campus, a sizable gathering focused Sunday on the environment in its most undeveloped form.

The annual Earth Day celebration held outside the KSU at Stark Campus Center building featured several information tables set up by student groups and other organizations, such as Canton Audubon Society, Stark County Park District, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Beech Creek Botanical Garden & Nature Preserve and more.

"It is a way to give to the community the beauty of our campus," said Denise Seachrist, dean of the Kent State University at Stark site. "We feel very strongly that we need to keep the campus sustainable for future generations."

A short distance away from the Campus Center parking lot, where the tables were arranged, was the school's pond and wetland area. KSU biology professor Robert Hamilton led an instructional walk around the pond.

"The term I want to introduce to you guys in succession," Hamilton said, explaining how plant life goes through a metamorphosis. "Any area of land on its own without human interference is going to change over time. That is exactly what is happening here. See all those little trees? Ten years ago that was all grass."

The school pond and wetlands area has certification as an instructional setting, or classroom, from the World Wildlife Federation. It is home to numerous plant species.

Officially, Earth Day was Saturday. Celebrated in multiple countries since 1970, the day's focus is on the environment and ecology. The local KSU branch hosts annual Earth Day celebrations.

"It is really to celebrate Earth Day and the importance of the resources we have in the community," said Tina Biasella, director of external affairs at Kent State Stark. "We have the 200 acres. We thought, 'What a wonderful place to celebrate the Earth.' "

One of the participating organizations, the Canton Audubon Society, promoted the idea of sustaining and developing habitats, particularly for birds.

"We are here every Earth Day," Linda Chen, president of the Canton Audubon Society, said. "A lot of the habitat, as you know, is disappearing."

People should consider establishing small habitat zones, such as pollinating gardens, in their rear yards to attract birds and some insects, according to Chen.

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