Club to hold fundraising concert to benefit Costa Rican bird


    Some may want to call them “tree-huggers,” but perhaps “tree-savers” is more appropriate.

    Adduco Viridis: TCU Environmental Club will kick off Earth Week with a concert on the Sadler Lawn from 3 to 6:30 p.m. to raise money to preserve a Costa Rican tree that could save an endangered bird species.

    “We’re hoping that this event will really make what we’re doing visible,” said AV Club secretary Gretchen Wilbrandt.

    Money raised from raffle ticket sales at AV Club’s Concert for the Macaws will be used to buy Almendro trees in Costa Rica, trees Wilbrandt said the Great Green Macaw inhabits for nesting and feeding.

    AV members said they hope to raise enough money to pay landowners to prevent the trees’ destruction.

    Each summer, Michael Slattery, director of the Institute for Environmental Studies, takes a group of students to Costa Rica where he teaches a two and a half week long course on environmental issues. Wilbrandt said the summer course is open to all majors.

    Ellen Schwaller, a senior environmental science major, said Slattery’s annual visits to Costa Rica are what prompted the Environmental Club’s interest in the project.

    Schwaller, who went on the trip in May 2005, calls the trip a “defining moment” in her time spent at TCU.

    “Not only did I have the chance to learn in the middle of the rainforest, where biodiversity is such a big factor, the trip really helped me to get involved and connect with other people with the same interests as me,” she said.

    Schwaller said she is happy with the positive response the club has received from the Fort Worth community.

    Wilbrandt said a wide variety of raffle prizes were donated by businesses throughout the area. She said these prizes correspond with the group’s ideals as stewards of the environment.

    “We have organic chocolate, gift certificates to places like the Spiral Diner and more. These ‘environmentally friendly’ prizes really showcase what the community has to offer,” Wilbrandt said.

    Musical performers include Tim Halperin, Josh Coad and Johnnie Cochran, she said.

    AV Club President Kimberly Banzhaf said the Environmental Club raised $1,000 and saved two trees when the first Concert for the Macaws was held two years ago. However, she said because the concert was at 8.0 Restaurant and Bar downtown, many students were unable to participate. Banzhaf said the group hopes to raise even more this year.

    “This year, we planned to make Earth Week activities like this more catered toward the students,” Banzhaf said.

    For Your Info

    What: Great Green Macaw fundraiser
    When: 3 to 6:30 p.m. today
    Where: Sadler Lawn