Rake in picture 1
Apparently, small doses of manual labor are good for the environment AND the soul.
A line of rakes cuts through the north half of the Yard. Some stand upright, driven into the ground, and many more lean against trees next to piles of leaves. These mysterious gardening implements are neither as colorful nor as practical as our beloved Yard chairs (#rip till spring), but that didn’t stop Flyby from getting to the bottom of the Yard’s newest decorations.

Turns out, the rakes are there in preparation for RakeHarvard, “Harvard’s First-Ever People-Powered Rake-In,” according to Harvard’s sustainability website. If the number of hyphens in that title leaves your head spinning with questions – what is a ‘rake-in’? Is Harvard making us do chores as a cost-cutting method? If so, will there at least be food? – you’re not alone.

According to RakeHarvard organizer Arif Khan, a Loeb Fellow at the Graduate School of Design, the point of the event is to encourage people to get together and meet each other, have a good time, and have a “positive environmental impact.”

“I went for a walk in Harvard Yard and it was a beautiful day...and all of a sudden these leaf blowers descended on the Yard and I thought, ‘Gosh, there must be a better way,’” said Khan on his inspiration for hosting the event. He hopes that it will be picked up on other campuses as a way to decrease the environmental impact of using leaf blowers while also promoting a fun way to relieve stress.

Rake in picture 2
Rakes are surprisingly hard to photograph in direct sunlight. But hey, #harvardinautumn?
The event starts Wednesday, November 18th in the Yard, and will have Insomnia cookies and other food. And in case you want to work off the Freshman (or Sophomore, or Junior…) 15, at 1:30 there will be a “Rake-Fit” class, which promises to combine music and total-body conditioning with, you guessed it, rakes. Sounds like a perfect combination to make it onto the Ivy League Snapchat Story. And at the very least, it’s cheaper than SoulCycle.