Texas State students participated in the first Sustainability Exploration event Friday and Saturday in an effort to promote environmental awareness, both on and off campus.
Kayte Wilcox, general studies senior, was one of three students who organized the event. She said Nancy Nusbaum, associate vice president for Financial Support Services, brought the idea to the Environmental Service Committee after reading about a similar event held at Penn State.
Wilcox said it was important for her to combine sustainable aspects of both the university and the community while planning the event.
“The whole point of sustainability is to keep it local,” Wilcox said. “A lot of freshmen come to college, and they go to their dorms and to their classes, but they don’t know a whole lot about the community.”
Nicole Fisher, an event organizer, said the 16 individuals who attended the Sustainability Exploration were mostly freshmen and transfer students who are new to the campus.
“We just really wanted to highlight some of the sustainable parts of San Marcos that these students otherwise may not known about,” said Fisher, communication studies sophomore.
Participants were taken to different places on campus and in San Marcos that highlight sustainability during the two-day program. Students took a campus tour to see the Bike Cave, LBJ compost bins, rainwater collection tanks, Calories for Kilowatts at the Campus Recreation Center and learned how to make a solar oven out of pizza boxes. Students also visited locations throughout the community.
“San Marcos has so many great sustainable aspects,” Wilcox said. “The students got to hear from several community members during different sections of the exploration.”
The group went on a wilderness appreciation tour with Todd Derkacz from the San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance and met Suzi Fields from the Edible San Marcos Community Garden.
Haydyn Jackson, art sophomore, said she enjoyed meeting the different community members and learning how to volunteer.
“We were introduced to a lot of community leaders from San Marcos,” Jackson said. “I really enjoyed the part where we took a canoe trip down the river with Dianne Wassenich, executive director of the San Marcos River Foundation, who told us about all the plants and wildlife on the river.”
Jackson said she was interested in participating in the Sustainability Exploration to learn about how to live in that manner.
Ignacio Gilbert, anthropology junior, said he went to the event to learn about what the community has to offer in terms of sustainability.
“San Marcos has a lot of sustainable resources that can be utilized that I never knew about, like the Bike Cave and the Community Garden,” Gilbert said.
Wilcox said the Sustainability Exploration was a success, and expects it will become an annual event.
“The turnout was great,” Wilcox said. “All of the students were so excited to be there and participate. We might even have another exploration next semester.”