On Earth Day, the Sustainability Club and Judy B. McDonald Public Library hosted an event from 4 pm to 9 pm April 22 in Pecan Park to promote sustainable choices from community members.
Other partners in this event included Austin Height Baptist Church, Resilient Nacogdoches and the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture. These organizations designed this event to be appropriate for all ages with a scavenger hunt, several booths with different activities, a documentary showing and Shali’s food truck.
“We have a number of organizations that are coming out, and they’re going to have activities and also information [for attendees],” Assistant Library Manager of Judy B. McDonald Public Library Crystal Hicks said. “There will be stuff for kids like a story time and scavenger hunt, but there will also be things about getting involved in the community. A couple of the other organizations are then holding a film screening afterward, as it gets dark, and it’s a documentary called, ‘Kiss the Ground.’”
Before the documentary on regenerative agriculture, there were booths from different organizations across Nacogdoches.
“I know that Austin Heights is going to have a booth that is doing wildflower seed packets,” Torrey Brown, president of the Sustainability Club and junior sustainable community development major from Dallas, said. “They’re going to let people put them together themselves and label them. Then, we are going to invite people out to plant their seeds at our pollinator garden at Banita Creek. As far as the [other partners], I know that everyone is doing something at their tables.”
Other activities included making bookmarks with pressed flowers and seed bombs, which are packets of seeds that can be thrown onto open areas to plant wildflowers. The Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture had an activity reflecting the “importance of water quality issues.”
“One of the key things that we’ll have is just a small, simple activity called, ‘Trickle Down Trash,’” Sarah Fuller, outreach coordinator for the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, said. “What it essentially illustrates is how the gum wrapper or the cigarette butt that you toss out, especially if you’re here on campus, will end up in Lanana Creek, which flows into the Angelina and then the larger tributaries.”
This was the first event the Sustainability Club has partnered in, and they’re “really glad to be involved in the event.”
“I feel like we’re very lucky to be involved in the event,” Hollyn Grizzaffi, vice president of the Sustainability Club and senior biology major from Denton, said. “I’m glad that we’re growing connections with everyone else who’s in this community with us who cares about sustainability.”
The Judy B. McDonald Public Library employees “want to bring awareness of Earth Day to Nacogdoches” and “deepen the connection” to SFA.
“We are making the most of that unique collaboration that we have,” Hicks said. “You don’t see that very often that a university and a public library join together like that, so we try to bring in SFA as much as possible.”
While the library engages SFA, Brown said she realizes that this event is an opportunity.
“I think that as Nacogdoches gets this reputation of being a small town that people must be close-minded,” Brown said. “But, it turns out that there are a lot of people that call Nacogdoches home that are very interested in sustainability. I am glad to be involved because I think it’s an opportunity to show students that this community is a community worth being a part of.”
Nacogdoches is home to one of the largest Azalea garden in Texas, known as the Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden, on University Drive. According to Brown, she said that is enough reason to support environmental friendliness.
“I think that it is good to keep in mind the people that grew up in this area, and they respect nature just as much as we do for the most part,” Brown said. “It’s important that we become involved in the community while we’re here; so we can continue to make it better, more beautiful and sustainable. [We need to] just keep Nacogdoches great because it really is a great community when you get involved.”
The Sustainability Club is currently accepting members and potential partners for future events. To get involved, email email@example.com.