FAIRBORN — The Fairborn Sustainability Committee (FSC) kicked off its first formal event Thursday evening, livestreaming the city’s first Earth Day Celebration. The video, which premiered on YouTube and the city’s Facebook page, highlighted the artwork, essays, and videos of high school, middle school and intermediate school students, as well as new parks that are coming to the city.
“We are super excited to officially and formally kick off our committee with this Earth Day student contest,” said Corey Gayheart, FSC vice-chair. “So many students worked extremely hard on videos, art, essays, to describe what Earth Day means to them and to showcase their talents in the perfect way to remind our community why it’s important to look after and be good to our environment.”
College students working with the FSC also took the opportunity to show off their work. FSC interns currently have several projects in the works, including researching improvements to the city’s stormwater management, and the feasibility of a neighborhood composting program.
Though not officially affiliated with Fairborn government, the FSC is an all-volunteer organization that aims engage Fairborn’s residents, businesses, and government with opportunities to improve our community’s environmental practices.
The committee took inspiration from the international Earth Day theme for the student contest, formally titled “Restore Our Earth-Promoting Environmental Awareness and Protection of our Planet.” In writing their essays and creating their projects, students at Fairborn City Schools were encouraged to think about solutions.
“Young people’s voices are essential,” said Karen Jeffers-Tracy, a FSC member. “Restoring the planet is a multigenerational task.”
“There’s energy for this in Fairborn,” Jeffers-Tracy continued. “We’re ready to move forward.”
In the high school art category, Fatima Abu came in first place, Mikayla Stambaugh in second, and Anastasia Creech in third.
For the middle school art contest, Ronald Warman took first place, and Ayasha Harris took second place.
Matthew Zheng and Maryam Abu shared first place in the intermediate school art contest. In second place was Adalaide Erickson, and in third place, Stella Brandemburg and Zoi Bates.
The Fairborn High School ASL Club was the sole prizewinner in the high school video category. Maryam Abu took first place in the intermediate school video category, with Autumn Kirby as runner up.
The essay categories had a single prizewinner each: Nathan Smith in the middle school category and James Bowling in the intermediate school category.
During the livestream, the city also announced that Fairborn will add two new parks to its portfolio of 22 green spaces in the coming years: Memorial Park, which will be located on the corner of Central Avenue and Hebble Avenue, and Main Gate Park, which will be located across from Gate 12A of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
Memorial Park will, as the name suggests, be the home of the Veterans’ Memorial, and an opportunity for residents to honor family members, City Manager Rob Anderson said. The city hopes to have the park designed by the end of this year. Once construction is complete, the first honoree will be former Fairborn Parks and Recreation Director Alicia Eckhart.
“We’re very excited to get this park underway, and to give her the proper honor she deserves,” Anderson said.