Post contributed by Hallie Nelson, Office of Sustainability Intern
This year’s Sustainability Picnic can be summed up pretty well by our Quote of the Week by Arthur Clarke, “All human plans [are] subject to ruthless revision by Nature, or Fate, or whatever one preferred to call the powers behind the Universe.”
After a long afternoon of setting up for the event, the picnic organizers were finally ready for students to arrive. All of the organizations had their tables set up perfectly and the band had started playing. Not even ten minutes into the picnic, a downpour of rain came. Organizations tried to salvage their flyers as students dashed to the food tent or Arboretum pavilion for shelter from the rain. Meanwhile, a few interns and I covered the band equipment with a tent to protect their equipment. As we huddled under the tent, we were wondering when the rain would stop and whether people would still come to the picnic after the storm was over.
Luckily, the storm only lasted about 15 minutes and then the sun came back out. After the rain, everyone emerged from underneath the food tent having loaded up on delicious food prepared by Tiger Dining during the rain. Soon after, the fun atmosphere of the picnic began to come back to life. Thunderstorms and water-damaged band equipment couldn’t stifle the crowd’s excitement.
The enthusiasm grew even more when the prize drawings began. A few lucky winners walked away with a new bike, new shoes, or a relaxing day of paddle boarding.
The rest of the picnic was filled with great conversations about sustainability initiatives happening at Auburn and how to get involved. I hope that the 200+ students who came stay connected with picnic groups to see all of the amazing things that will happen at Auburn this year to create a more sustainable campus. I know I came away energized, inspired, and ready to spend another year at Auburn creating a more sustainable campus for everyone.
Thanks to everyone who came with positive attitudes and excitement that couldn’t be dampened by the rain, and another big thank you to everyone that made the 2016 Sustainability Picnic possible, including our co-sponsors:
- The Donald E. Davis Arboretum for a great location and help setting up.
- Tiger Dining for providing delicious local and vegetarian-friendly food.
- Waste Reduction and Recycling Department for helping us reduce our waste to less than 1 pound!
- Academic Sustainability Programs for sponsoring some of the food costs, and spreading the word about the Minor in Sustainability Studies.
- The Natural Resources Management Major for sponsoring some of the food costs and sharing details on their flexible degree.
We hope to see you all at next year’s picnic! In the meantime, enjoy viewing this year’s picnic photos.