The Student Recreation Center and the Physical Plant are beginning to establish Hammock Grove areas. The Hammock Grove areas will be spaces for students to put up their hammocks to rest or read with friends.
There are five areas that have been chosen to be Hammock Grove spaces. The first one is located on the corner of Baker Street and Starr Avenue. The remaining four areas include the North side of the Ag Pond near the
football field, the area behind the Boynton Building, the north side of Steen Library and Lumberjack Landing and near the Student Recreation Center.
Future sites that are still in the works include the lawn behind the Forestry Building, the lawn behind the Baker Pattillo Student Center Dining Hall and the lawn behind Kerr Hall.
Steven Whitman, assistant director of Outdoor Pursuits at Campus Rec, explained how the idea came to be.
“Other universities have done similar things. One thing we identify with here at SFA is student wellness,” Whitman said.
“The second part, we’ve seen and heard of people hammocking on campus over the past few years. It’s becoming more of a trend. We decided to combine those things and put up what we’re calling Hammock Groves in spots that students may already be, and places that are not distracting but are also not distracted by cars going by. So quiet, restful areas are the ideas.”
A year ago, Whitman approached the Physical Plant director, and they both agreed it would be a great addition to campus.
“Between all of us, we identified the spots. A common misconception that people have is that hammocking is bad for trees. Hammocking does not damage trees,” Whitman said. “The point of this is not to say that trees are being damaged. We are providing a space that could be used for this, but then maybe there’s also a social interaction that could happen where people are hammocking in the same space.”
The Hammock Grove area that’s being constructed now on Baker Street is intended to be a park where people can hang out, with an addition to charging stations and benches. Whitman expressed that his goal is to have all Hammock Grove areas up and ready to use by this Fall.
“It’s a place to push people to be together, so there’s a social aspect to it. We’re trying to show people that it is a common recreational activity that people want to do,” Whitman said.
“We want people to know we’re supportive of it. I’ve seen hammocking policies at other schools in Texas, but we thought that was a little overwhelming. It doesn’t damage trees.”
Gary Williams, grounds manager for the University, also thought the Hammock Groves would be a great addition to campus.
“We are working on Hammock Groves, so we’re putting in posts in triangles. People can hang hammocks in groups of threes,” Williams said. “We’ll have several areas on campus for those. It’ll have hooks for it. The Rec Center put in the idea, and we’re supporting them by setting up locations and putting in the materials.”
The very first Hammock Grove area on the corner of Starr Avenue and Baker Street is almost done, but due to inclement weather, the planting of grass has been delayed. It is expected to be completed by the end of this semester.