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Indiana State University
It’s a familiar scene for Indiana State University one day each April: a band strumming on a stage in the middle of the green quadrangle, surrounded by a maze of booths with local venders and community members mingling with students. Competitive games of cornhole and the aroma of hot dogs and hamburgers complete the scene.
The activities are a signal of the annual Earth Day celebration, which will take place this year 11 a.m.-2 p.m. April 19 on the quad and will feature more than 30 local vendors. (Rain location is the events area of the Cunningham Memorial Library.)
Alexandra Hendrix, events coordinator at the Institute of Community Sustainability, promises live acoustic music, a picnic catered by Sodexo and a rock climbing wall supplied by the Army Reserve. A sustainability awards ceremony will take place noon-12:30 p.m.
For people who can’t attend the Sustainability Festival, there will also be a Jadcore Workshop 2-2:30 p.m. in Dede III and a tailgate prior to the Indiana State vs. Purdue baseball game at Bob Warn Field. The tailgate, which is sponsored by Union Board, The Forest, Campus Life, Student Affairs and Intercollegiate Athletics, will feature games, food, giveaways and door prizes. There will also be an all-day sustainability display in the Myers Technology Building.
For Hendrix, who was hired in May as the sensory garden coordinator and started planning Earth Day programming in October, this event was months of planning and meetings in the making — all with the help of an Earth Day Task Force and a checklist.
“I've had smaller events with 60 people, a children’s event, but nothing on this scale,” said Hendrix, a psychology major from Terre Haute. “It's been a process, but I just take it one thing at a time and put it all together. My committee has kept me on track.”
None of the planning is without purpose. Hendrix says the two main parts of her job are Earth Day and Campus Sustainability Day, both of which are meant to raise awareness for mindful, sustainable behaviors that anyone can practice.
“It's not just a passive thing; we really want students to be involved. For the vendor booths, every single one has to do with sustainability or something to help the environment,” she said.
Hendrix, who is now a senior, says that she didn’t fully understand sustainability before her job at the institute, but interacting with initiatives and other people in the institute over the course of her job has immersed her.
“I think by doing events on campus students can really see the effects and understand what's going on,” Hendrix said. “And also learn how to be more earth-friendly and recycle, because I know I've learned a lot.”