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Even though different, Gateway’s event still draws public to learn about environment

Drive-thru participant

The format might have looked a little different and the campus a little less crowded, but Gateway Technical College’s Celebrate Earth Day-EcoFest event still had the same environmental impact it’s had in past years.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused Gateway to combine its popular green events into one and then to split up the activities into a drive-through event in the morning followed by online activities in the afternoon.

Many came to Gateway’s campuses in Kenosha, Racine or Elkhorn to receive some green-related children’s activities they could take home and enjoy, as well as a package to help plant a family garden. Many took part in the online environmental programs and other activities offered as part of the event, as well.

“We were very excited to find a unique way to hold Gateway’s popular environmental events this year, and the community was excited as well,” said Abbie Ford, Gateway manager, community relations and communications. “We had excellent turnout at all three of our in-person, drive-through activities. We gave away hundreds of garden kits, kids activity kits and more, helped recycle a large number of electronics and collected multiple barrels full of donation items.

“Gateway values its commitment to sustainability, and we look forward to continuing to offer opportunities to help our communities connect with the environment.”

Ford noted that the online expo webpage received more than 3,000 page views on the day of the event, with many attendees tuning in to watch informational presentations, explore virtual booths from local exhibitors and view an online art exhibit.