SpringFest Puts Spotlight on Sustainability

Cornellians on Ho Plaza braved the rain to attend SpringFest, an annual Earth Day event that unites students in order to promote sustainability...

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By David Ticzon via Cornell Daily Sun, 4/22/2015

Cornellians on Ho Plaza braved the rain yesterday to attend SpringFest, an annual event that unites students in order to promote sustainability.

Anna Cone ’16, student sustainability coordinator at the Campus Sustainability Office, said SpringFest has occurred for around 40 years.

“The goal of today was to celebrate Earth Day and the coming of spring through music, food and art,” said Cone, who helped coordinate the event.

Cone said this year’s SpringFest was different than previous ones, as student groups ECO and Cornell Environmental Collaborative helped to co-sponsor and organize it.

“All the volunteers here are through ECO and we have a lot of stuff going on to celebrate Earth Day,” Cone said.

Various organizations — including the Farmers’ Market at Cornell, Plastic Tides and the College of Human Ecology — lined Ho Plaza with white and blue tents.

The Farmers’ Market at Cornell helped create a “festival” atmosphere, according to Noah Wesley ’17, a festival organizer and market manager for the Farmers’ Market.

“Our goal was to bring some of our vendors — specifically ones from the Ithaca community to campus — so that there would be more of a festival with food and things like that,” Wesley said. “We want to see the vibrancy of environmental student groups and the vibrancy of the local Ithaca community.”

The Farmers’ Market booth featured numerous local food vendors, including Téllez Mexican Catering, which has worked with the organization for four years.

“We love to support the student community and Cornell,” Salvador Téllez said. “We are here with our fresh homemade Mexican food and we are very happy to be part of this great event.”

At their booth, the Cornell extension of the Plastic Tides campaign rose awareness on microbeads — which are harmful to marine environments — according to Valerie Pietsch ’15, president of the campaign.

Meanwhile, across the plaza, the College of Human Ecology’s booth was set up with games, where students had the chance to win prizes. Jim Hatch, facilities manager for the college and a team leader, said Human Ecology was involved to “broaden” sustainability efforts.

“Our goal for SpringFest 2015 is to increase the community engagement we have across campus,” Hatch said. “We built a strong sustainability program within Human Ecology and want to broaden our reach to get more people within the Cornell community to become actively involved with sustainability.”

The Cornell Horticulture Club sold plants at the event, including a corpse flower “that blooms once a year and smells like rotting flesh,” according to Christian Lesage ’16, a member of the club.

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