By: Kelsey Aylor, Senior Writer
With the sun shining down, music blasting and plenty of food and snow cones to go around, students congregated near the Greek Village on Saturday, April 4 to celebrate two major events. The first, Spring Weekend, is a popular annual tradition, but the other is a new addition: Wofford’s Earth Day celebration.
Organized and sponsored by the Wofford Outdoors club, the Earth Day festival was held in conjunction with Spring Weekend. In addition to the beach volleyball court, inflatables and food trucks, Wofford Outdoors brought a rock climbing wall to campus, set up a table with wares from The Local Hiker in downtown Spartanburg and prepared various rafts and boats to sail the fountain.
“This started as an idea I had a couple of years ago where I thought it would be a cool campus opportunity to involve some businesses and people from within the community,” says Alex Bentley ’17, key organizer of the event and leader of the Outdoors club.
Bentley, a Spanish and biology double major, has been passionate about working in the outdoors and being involved on campus. He has done research on snakes with Dr. Chuck Smith, volunteers time at Glendale with the gardening, landscaping and upkeep and has been captain of the ultimate frisbee team for two years.
“Both with Wofford Outdoors and in general, I want to encourage people to get outside more often,” says Bentley. “With the club, we’re trying to do more events to facilitate people going outdoors, so I would highly encourage people to get involved.”
In upcoming years, the Outdoors club hopes to continue the Earth Day festival. They hope in the future they will be able to pursue other events or activities that they were unable to partake in this year – for instance, there were plans to build a film hut, where tapestries would be hung to form walls. Due to the wind, the structure was not stable. Similarly, the wind prevented a workshop on fire building and cooking.
“We certainly learned a lot this year and it was a good way to experiment and learn what we can do in the future,” says Bentley. “As for this year, I think this Earth Day was an interesting dynamic with how things have been changing politically and with a lot of controversy over issues about our planet.”
T-shirts for the event were designed by Jess Borucki ’18 and feature her own art. They are still available for sale for $15 by contacting Bentley at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr. Peter Brewitt, the club’s advisor, at email@example.com.
Overall, Bentley feels the event was a success. “This day is an important time to remember everything we have and how valuable and wonderful that is,” he says. “We wanted to get people outside on a beautiful spring day and enjoy the outdoors. I think we were able to accomplish that.”