November 26, 2019 4:15 PM
By Lu Zucker, Ecolympics Intern, and Bridget Flynn, Sustainability Manager

The 2019 Oberlin Ecolympics scavenger hunt and event series has come to a close!

Between September 27 and October 11, Ecolympics boasted fifteen events and a sustainability-focused scavenger hunt around the college’s campus. The event series drew in Oberlin College students, college staff, community members, and visitors from out of town.

The purpose of the annual community event series is to educate and integrate larger conversations on sustainability into our community through films, guest speakers, service events, workshops, and more! The competition is designed to engage participants in a friendly competition to learn about sustainability at Oberlin College campus and encourage them to engage in sustainability-related action at personal, local, regional, and global scales.

Scavenger Hunt

The scavenger hunt participants followed clues to information stations to learn about college dining composting at the Rathskellar, campus heating and carbon neutrality efforts at the Central Heating Plant, campus sustainability efforts at the Office of Environmental Sustainability, waste diversion efforts at the Free Store, campus gardening at the Johnson House Garden, history of the preserved green space at the Oberlin Arboretum, the Living Machine at the Adam Joseph Lewis Center, do-it-yourself bike repair at the Bike Co-op, LEED sustainability design at Kahn Hall, and solar energy at the solar array. Participants collected a stamp for their “passports” from each station, and those who found all ten stations turned in their passports for a prize.

There were 87 scavenger hunt participants, and 10 winners:

  • Sheridan Blitz
  • Emily Bosch
  • Wren Fiocco
  • Bill Frawley
  • Maddie Gefke
  • Rachael Hood
  • Rebecca Kades
  • Chloe Lai
  • Stephanie Macedo
  • Veronica Mahoney

The bonus round of the scavenger hunt was a Google Forms quiz testing participants’ knowledge from the posters at the stations. There were a number of participants, and our winner was Wren Fiocco!

Ecolympics culminated in a joyous vegan banquet! We had a great time enjoying food, discussing the competition, and meeting new people who shared our excitement. During this time scavenger hunt winners picked out prizes like reusable travel thermoses, gift cards to local businesses, LunchSkins reusable bags, bike lights, and handmade ceramics from the Pottery Co-op.

Events

The Oberlin Ecolympics community event series featured a wide array of activities, workshops, speakers, and films, such as a tour of Oberlin’s 10.5-acre solar array, a screening of indigenous film Awake, A Dream From Standing Rock, tea-making workshop, and a Sunrise Oberlin climate activism training.

Ecolympics welcomed Cleveland’s own Evergreen Cooperatives for a presentation of worker-owned sustainable business models that meet the needs of workers, communities, and customers.

The Office of Environmental Sustainability partnered with the local Republic Services, who gave an information session and tour of the recycling facility located about two miles from campus.

See the full list of events on Facebook

Collaborators and Contributions

Ecolympics is a collaborative labor of love. It simply could not happen without the time, creativity, and resources of many dedicated individuals and organizations. Many facets of the Oberlin community contribute to the success of Ecolympics: student organizations, local businesses and nonprofits, city services, and college departments and offices. 

Thank you to all of the amazing organizers and sponsors:

  • Yeworkwha Belachew Center for Dialogue
  • Oberlin Indigenous Peoples Day Committee
  • Oberlin College Resource Conservation Team
  • Oberlin College Environmental Studies Program
  • Oberlin College Office of Environmental Sustainability
  • Sunrise Oberlin
  • Students for Energy Justice
  • Republic Services Recycling Center
  • Slow Train Cafe Trivia Night

Last but certainly not least, we would like to thank all of the sponsors who provided prizes for scavenger hunt winners. This year’s prizes were generously donated by:

  • Lupita’s
  • Main Street Barber
  • Ratsy’s
  • LunchSkins
  • Enterprise CarShare
  • Oberlin College Student Union