Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Texas Wesleyan University’s EarthFest has been canceled.
According to Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Gary Stout, the event was going to begin with helping document the invasive species of plants in the Tandy Hills Natural Area and cleaning up trash, and conclude with an afternoon festival with live music and food. EarthFest was scheduled for April 18.
Stout also wrote in an email that the event was a collaboration between Student Affairs, the Student Government Association and the Department of Biology.
Despite the disappointment of the cancellation, Stout believes that it is important for Wesleyan to continue to follow CDC guidelines through this crisis.
“Though we are sad that this exciting event had to be canceled, I think everyone in the group understands the need to protect the general population,” Stout wrote.
Stout wrote that once the crisis is over, the organizers will work as quickly as possible to get back to normal and will start planning things to engage students again.
“Once we are through the current crisis, we will start the conversation regarding the feasibility of putting on the program next year,” Stout wrote.
Senior and Student Government Association President Alyssa Hutchinson is heartbroken over EarthFest’s cancellation.
“This has been my baby for the last two years.” Hutchinson wrote in an email. “To have all of these pieces you need and no control over why it was canceled is tragic.”
But like Stout, Hutchinson has hope that things will get back to normal and that Wesleyan will be able to have this event in the future.
“I believe that this event could pave the way for a level of community engagement Texas Wesleyan and Fort Worth have never seen,” Hutchinson wrote.
Junior biology major Calista Lothliam also felt the news was heartbreaking.
“It was very heartbreaking and sad to know EarthFest would be cancelled before officially cancelling it at last week’s meeting,” Lothliam wrote in an email.
Despite the sadness, Lothliam is proud of everything she and the group were able to accomplish this past year.
“I have a newfound appreciation for all that goes into hosting an event of this degree and if it weren’t for our situation, I know this event would have been successful.” Lothliam wrote.
Dr. Bruce Benz, a professor of biology, hopes that student government and Student Life will contemplate organizing the event.
“I will continue to find ways to restore Tandy Hills Natural Area to its former glory,” Benz wrote.