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When It Rains, It Pours: Sustainability Picnic 2021

By September 2, 2021February 21st, 2022No Comments

By Molly Kilpatrick.

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes it just rains. The Sustainability Picnic was canceled this year due to heavy afternoon rain on Wednesday, August 25, 2021. The annual Welcome Week picnic brings together Auburn students, employees, and community members for a gathering of all things sustainability with free food, live music, and games and activities.  

This event also features student organizations, academic and university departments, and campus resources that students can get involved with. The event was originally scheduled this year for Wednesday, August 18th at the Donald E. Davis Arboretum, but as this date approached, the weather forecast was not promising. We decided to postpone the picnic to exactly one week later. In true Alabama fashion, the afternoon of Wednesday, August 18th brought only a small amount of rain and then sweltering clear weather.  

Wednesday, August 25th rolled around, and again, the weather was not promising. After viewing many, many different weather forecasts and talking with Auburn Campus Safety & Security, we ultimately decided to cancel the event. Although this was disappointing for many of us, we decided that the safety of the students and guests was much more important than having the event during a thunderstorm.  

Plate of food served at the lunch held in place at the picnic

Locally-sourced lunch from Tiger Catering

In place of the picnic, to distribute the already prepared food, the Office of Sustainability and partners gave away the food over lunch time at Langdon Annex before the approaching storm arrived. The giveaway strived to create zero waste and featured  reusable utensils and frisbees for plates. The food was catered by Tiger Catering and featured a vegetarian meal. During this, students were able to learn about the Office of Sustainability, Academic Sustainability Programs, and the Waste Reduction and Recycling Department.  We handed out free food to over 339 students!  

Although this was not the original plan, we are so happy that so many of you came out to get food and learn more about some of our sponsors! Although we are sad that we will not be able to have the Sustainability Picnic this year, we are looking forward to our other events this semester! Check out the  to view these upcoming events! Office of Sustainability Calendar to view these upcoming events!  

Due to the cancelation of the Sustainability Picnic, we wanted to highlight a few of the organizations who would have been there.  

AU NSF Research Traineeship on Climate Resilience: Auburn’s NSF Research Trainee program is designed to train the next generation of scientists and leaders to help build resilient communities that are prepared for, can effectively respond to, and quickly recover from hazardous events in the southeastern United States. 

Campus Kitchens Project: Campus Kitchens serves Auburn’s campus by donating unserved food at Auburn’s dining halls and events to anti-hunger resource programs. This organization is completely student-led and is a great way to get involved with volunteering on campus! 

Master of Community Planning: The Master of Community Planning Program is a professionally oriented master’s degree program that offers coursework that is concerned with the use of land, protection of the environment, public welfare, the design of public spaces and infrastructure, and the economy.   

Pups on the Plains: Pups on the Plains is a 100% student-run, foster-based animal rescue. Pups on the Plains currently has dogs and cats that are available to foster and adopt! 

Students for Clean Water: Students for Clean Water strives to passionately and proactively serve Auburn’s campus by raising funds and awareness about the worldwide water crisis. They host various events on Auburn’s campus throughout the school year. Applications for new members are open until September 10, 2021!  

The Auburn Community Garden: The community garden at Auburn University provides gardening plots to students and Auburn/ Opelika residents and also serves as an educational tool for classes on Auburn’s campus. Plots are available for rental each semester through the Auburn Community Garden website. 

The Donald E. Davis Arboretum: The Davis Arboretum is a botanic garden facility located on Auburn’s Campus. This space provides visitors with a place to enjoy nature, walk around, study, or play games with friends.  

The College of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences: The College of Forestry and Wildlife offers academic programs that prepare students for employment in a wide range of natural resource professions. 

Check out our list of opportunities to get involved and our featured student organizations to engage with sustainability on Auburn’s campus and in our community.   

We can’t wait to see you all at the Sustainability Picnic next year on the first Wednesday of classes, hopefully with better weather!  

Contributed by Molly Kilpatrick, Outreach Coordinator, Office of Sustainability


Learn about the SDGs & AU and our contributions related to this post.

SDG2 Zero Hunger

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