GPC Newton Daffodil Festival Targets Sustainability

Contact: Beverly James
Phone: 678-891-2686
Fax: 678-891-2966   
Author: Beverly James   

For Immediate Release

Want to learn about how to leave a healthier environment for your children and grandchildren – and enjoy good family fun at the same time?   Visit Georgia Perimeter College Newton Campus on March 21 and 22 for the 2012 Daffodil Festival: Building a Greener GPC.  This year’s festival will focus on sustainability.  All events are free and open to the public.

Now in its fifth year at GPC Newton Campus in Covington, the two-day festival offers an exciting variety of culture, dance, music and walking events at the 100-acre campus. This year, the program begins 10 a.m., Wednesday, March 21 with a symposium on the book “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” by William Kamkwamba.

The Daffodil Trail Walk, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., will follow a nature trail on campus near a lake on the 100-acre site of Georgia Perimeter College Newton Campus. The college is inviting walkers to join students, faculty and staff in a healthy, half-mile trek in the woods. 

“Sustainability is very important to the college now,” says English professor Deborah Manson, chair of the Daffodil Festival committee.  “And during these two days we’ll showcase how our students are learning to be responsible citizens –not just recycling but discovering a variety of ways to consume our natural resources in ways that don’t destroy what’s around us.”

Georgia Perimeter’s push for a better environment includes the opening of the new Southeastern Institute for Sustainability at GPC. Also, the college has teamed up with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4 to become the nation’s flagship community college institution to develop an environmental sustainability education program for the federal agency. The Institute is located on Clarkston Campus.

Besides integrating sustainability principles across GPC’s curriculum, campus operations, and student activities, the Institute will be heavily involved in community outreach.  It will work with community organizations, government agencies and schools to promote environmental sustainability and sustainable development.  This year’s Daffodil Festival will celebrate this new initiative in the Newton County area.

GPC Newton Campus will unveil its Community Learning Garden where faculty, staff and students will grow plants and food to serve the curriculum interests in the natural world while serving the interests of Newton County at large.

The Daffodil Festival, which combines academics and the environment, is the perfect program in which to explore sustainability, said Joanne Chu, executive director of the Southeastern Institute for Sustainability.

“Some people think sustainability is just about recycling or about science.  It is so much more than that.  Sustainability is a worldview that considers the needs of our future generations while we also consider our needs,” Chu said. “The Humanities are the academic disciplines that allow us to explore our human condition – our humanity.  It is through the humanities that we learn about ourselves, our passions and our potential as a society.”

Other festival events will include lectures and discussions, African and North American grassroots music and nature walks in GPC Newton’s sumptuous natural environment.  Along with faculty members will be guest speakers such as Wonderland Gardens Directors Sheldon Fleming and Deborah Summerville, U.S. Forest Service Regional Regeneration Specialist George Hernandez, Jim Abbot of Trees Atlanta and Barbara Williams Emerson of Hosea Feed the Hungry.

Events will take place in building 2N and on the campus lawn between buildings 1N and 2N. The campus is located at 239 Cedar Lane, Covington.

The Spring 2012 Daffodil Festival is sponsored by the Newton Student Government Association, the Daffodil Festival Committee and the Newton Arts and Humanities Advisory Council. 

For more information, contact:

·         Deborah Manson, 770-278-1256, Deborah

·         Janet Hollier, 770-278-1377,

Schedule of Events:

Wednesday, March 21

10:00               Opening Symposium Discussion: GPC Reads: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

Sheldon Fleming and Deborah Summerville, Directors, Wonderland Gardens

Dr. George Hernandez, Regional Regeneration Specialist, US Forest Service

Julie Langley, GPC Reads Newton Representative and Assistant Professor of Reading

Moderated by Jane Hercules, GPC Instructor of Communication

2N Atrium

11:30-2:00       Trail Walk

Campus trails off faculty parking lot

1:00                 Giwayen Mata African Drum and Dance Troupe

Lawn between buildings

2:30                 William Bartram: Georgia’s Ecology and Literary England

Kathleen De Marco, GPC Instructor of English and Communication


Thursday, March 22

9:00                 Faculty Forum: Service Learning in the Garden

Dr. Sean Brumfield, Executive Director, Atlanta Center for Civic Engagement & Service Learning


9:00                 Garden Building Project Begins

Dr. Joanne Chu, GPC Director of Southeastern Institute for Sustainability

Tracy Wilson, GPC Campus Learning Gardens Coordinator

Newton Campus Garden Site

10:00               Community, Art, and Gardens Discussion

Eugene Cooke, Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture

Jolanta Paterek, GPC Assistant Professor of Art

Dr. Linda Varkonda, GPC Instructor of Humanities

2N-1100 and Garden Site

11:00                   USDA People’s Garden Award Ceremony and Groundbreaking 

Elizabeth Agpaoa, Southern Regional Forester (Region 8), USDA Forest Service

Dr. Anthony Tricoli, President, Georgia Perimeter College

Dr. Alan Jackson, Vice President of Academic Affairs

Dr. Joanne Chu, GPC Director of Sustainable Living & Environmental Studies

Dr. George Hernandez, Regional Regeneration Specialist, US Forest Service

Garden Site

11:30                 Award Reception featuring Chris and Carol Moser, American Folk Music

Garden Site

11:30-2:00         Trail Walk

Campus trails off faculty parking lot

1:00                   The Philosophy of Trees

Jim Abbot, Adjunct Professor of Classics, Agnes Scott College & Trees Atlanta

2N-1100 and trails

2:30                   Hosea Feed the Hungry: 40 Years of Community Sustainability

Dr. Barbara Williams Emerson, Secretary of the Board of Directors, Hosea Feed the Hungry


For more information, visit

-# # # -

Georgia Perimeter College, the third largest institution of the University System of Georgia, serves approximately 27,000 students through four campuses and several sites in metro Atlanta. For additional information, visit