By Cooper Drummond
Outdoors club members painting the picnic tables in the native garden (Photo by Cooper Drummond)
The inaugural outdoors club had its first meeting at SUNY Purchase. The club intends to find ways for students to enjoy activities that have to do with nature.
“I look forward to everything that happens here,” said Jakob Ferrara, a sophomore graphic design major. Last year, he helped maintain the Purchase native garden, located behind the dance building.
The native garden was a separate project which began in 2019 that houses and protects plants native to the Westchester area. The first outdoors club meeting took place there on Sept. 20, where students spent three hours painting wooden picnic tables.
“It’s always very peaceful when you come and visit,” said Ferrara.
Flowers in the Purchase native garden (Photo via purchase.edu)
Other students have suggested ideas about a moth show and a cleanup of the trash on Cottage Avenue, according to Hannah Kaebnick, the president of the outdoors club.
The club, which meets for events rather than weekly meetings, has future ideas for taking students places off campus, said Kaebnick. One such idea is to take a trip to Anthony’s Nose, a hiking trail in Northern Westchester.
“I’m excited for all of the trips that we might go to and all of the things that I might be exploring,” said C.J. Paul, an undeclared freshman commuter.
“We started the club because as students, we feel that if you don't have a car on campus, it can be pretty hard to get to the outdoors or natural areas,” said Kaebnick. SUNY Purchase provides a free loop service with two respective routes that go to the City of White Plains and the Village of Port Chester. All stops on both routes are either on a street, store, or train stop without any trails or other nature activities.
The picnic tables painted by the outdoors club (Photo via @purchaseoutdoors on Instagram)
She believes activities such as this need to be more accessible for all students.
“We will provide a bus so if you don't have a car, you can still get outdoors,” said Kaebnick. “We’ve got 114 new signups at the club fair alone. So obviously, there's a lot of interest at Purchase for an outdoors club.”