Bard News & Events

Press Release

JULIA BUTTERFLY HILL, TREE-SITTING ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST, WILL SPEAK AT BARD COLLEGE ON TUESDAY, OCTOBER 31 "It is not a matter of whether or not we can make a difference, but that each and every one of us do make a difference."—Julia Butterfly Hill

Emily Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Environmental activist and author Julia Butterfly Hill will speak at Bard College on Tuesday, October 31, at 7:00 p.m. Hill captured the world\'s attention when her record-setting tree-sit saved a thousand-year-old redwood named Luna from destruction. She will recount her experiences and speak about other current environmental issues. Hill\'s talk, presented by the Bard Environmental Resources Department (BERD), is free and open to the public and will be held in Olin Hall. A book signing and reception will follow the talk in the Olin Atrium.

Julia Butterfly Hill began her vigil to save the northern California redwood named Luna on December 10, 1997 when she was twenty-one. She resolved to remain on a seven-foot platform constructed for her tree-sit—one hundred and eighty feet above the ground—until Pacific Lumber/Maxxam Corporation promised to save the thousand-year-old tree from destruction. Hill\'s feet did not touch the ground for 738 days, until December 18, 1999, when Pacific Lumber and Hill reached an agreement to preserve both Luna and a two-acre buffer zone around it. Hill recorded her impressions in a diary, which has become the basis of her book, Legacy of Luna (HarperCollins, 2000).

Newspapers, magazines, radio, and television have covered Julia Butterfly Hill\'s quest, and the PBS documentary Butterfly (the name she took when she climbed Luna), which records her tree-sit, aired in June as part of the Point of View (P.O.V.) series. Hill has been named one of Good Housekeeping\'s \"Most Admired Women of 1998\" and George magazine’s \"20 Most Fascinating Women in Politics,\" and she was featured in People magazine’s \"25 Most Intriguing People of the Year\" issue. She is director of the Circle of Life Foundation, which she founded to transform her two-year tree-sit into a lifetime of activism on the ground and by building on the tremendous outreach she began in the tree. \"As someone who has taken direct action to save a precious resource, Butterfly is an inspiration for all of us,\" says Bard College junior Melanie Schweitzer. \"BERD hopes that her presentation will inspire all of us to act in a compassionate, responsible, and accountable way, not only on environmental issues but in our interactions with society as a whole.\"

Under the direction of Laurie DeCuittis, Bard Environmenal Resource Department (BERD), developed from proposals and requests made by students on the college’s Recycling and Environmental Action Committee. BERD provides an outlet for environmentally active students to improve their local community and to institutionalize sustainable programs at the college. BERD will work with students, faculty, staff, and administrators, as well as Service Master, Chartwells, and Barnes and Noble, to develop comprehensive recycling and composting programs that work efficiently and effectively. Future BERD goals include the promotion of green purchasing practices, sustainable building, waste prevention, and energy efficiency.

This event has been made possible, in part, through support from the Educational Foundation of America, Bard Center for Environmental Policy, and the following members of the Bard College administration: Dean of the College, Dean of Studies, Dean of Students, Director of Student Activities, Director of First Year Students, Director and Associate Director of Athletics and Recreation, and Director of the Trustee Leader Scholar Program of Bard College.

For further information, call Melanie Schweitzer at 845-757-3699; or e-mail

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This event was last updated on 03-02-2001