Members of the Elon community have the opportunity to explore Burlington and learn about local businesses at the Office of Sustainability and Elon Outdoors’ Bike to Burlington event. 

Associate Director of Sustainability for Education and Outreach Kelly Harer said the event is aimed at getting students to see the surrounding community. 

“We want students to just get outside of the Elon campus and explore the local area,” Harer said. 

Harer said one goal of the event is to spread awareness to Elon students about ways they can participate in sustainable practices including supporting local businesses. 

“We want to help students understand why supporting local businesses is important and give them some idea of the local businesses that are available,” Harer said. 

Participants will use the Burlington Greenway to make the three-mile journey from campus to downtown Burlington. Harer said this will give students the opportunity to experience the accessibility of the greenway and downtown Burlington.

Sophomore Virginia Campbell participated in the event last year and said it helped her understand the areas around campus and made her more comfortable riding her bike places.

“We went on the greenway trail, which goes right by Loy Farm,” Campbell said. “I was a freshman, and I didn't have a car so I didn't know where the farm was. … That was really cool to learn because now I am aware of it.”

Participants will gather at 3 p.m. Sept. 22 to bike from the Koury athletic center to downtown Burlington. Registration is required through a form on the sustainability website. Bikes are provided for students who wish to borrow an Elon Outdoors bike, but participants are welcome to bring their own. 

Harer said another benefit of the event is students meeting and getting to know their peers with similar interests. Harer said the Office of Sustainability works to provide students with opportunities to broaden their connections with one another.

“We just want people to find other people who are also interested in sustainability,” Harer said.

The event is open to anyone who wants to participate, regardless if they are involved in either organization. Campbell said at last year’s event she had the opportunity to meet students that were interested in sustainability and also students involved with Elon Outdoors.

“I think it was fun to merge students that might have been interested in Elon Outdoors and students that were interested in sustainability,” Campbell said.

Due to scheduling conflicts Campbell is unable to attend this year but encourages others to participate.

“I would recommend it to anyone,” Campbell said. 

Harer said the Office of Sustainability hosts other events similar to this one throughout the year to educate students about sustainable practices and help them meet new people. 

“I think we will be doing more of these in the future,” said Harer. “If someone isn't able to do it now if they don't have the time available or it does happen to be full. We will be doing one in the spring.”