AUBURN UNIVERSITY -- Auburn University and the City of Auburn will host a "Celebrate the Tradition" block party at Toomer's Corner on Saturday, April 20. The event will be held after the A-Day football game and will give fans one final opportunity to roll and photograph the beloved oak trees before the trees are removed.
A date for the trees' removal has not been set.
"The Oaks at Toomer's Corner have been a part of Auburn tradition for generations," said Debbie Shaw, Auburn University vice president for alumni affairs and executive director of the Auburn Alumni Association. "Their removal will in no way diminish the Auburn Spirit, which has grown even stronger during these past two years."
Despite extraordinary efforts to save the oak trees, members of the university's Tree Preservation Committee say they do not see the possibility of survival.
The university's future landscaping plans will be unveiled on A-Day. Over the past two months, more than 10,000 fans and friends of the university provided their opinions and ideas through an online survey conducted by Auburn University Campus Planning and Space Management and two landscape architecture firms - Nelson Byrd Woltz and jB+a.
"The architects are combining their expertise and experience with the terrific input from the Auburn Family to come up with a future plan that we will all be proud of," said Dan King, assistant vice president for Auburn University Facilities Management.
To keep the tradition alive, the university and city will create structures at the College Street-Magnolia Avenue intersection that are suitable for rolling after the oaks are gone. Fans will be invited to gather there as they always have following big victories or other momentous occasions.
The block party, which is co-sponsored by the Auburn Alumni Association, will feature live music and a festive atmosphere.
"We want people to be upbeat about the future of this area," Shaw said. "Rolling the corner is a uniquely Auburn tradition, and whether we roll trees or other structures, the camaraderie and sense of togetherness is part of what makes Auburn a special place."
(Written by Mike Clardy)