Thousands of rolls of toilet paper covered Samford Lawn after the win over the University Alabama on Saturday. Come Monday morning when the tailgates are all cleaned up and the last of the fans have left Auburn, Toomer’s Corner and all of Samford Lawn remained covered in the remnants of the Iron Bowl win.
Supervisor of Landscape Services within Facilities Management Justin Sutton manages the clean up after game day including the clean up of Samford Lawn after an Auburn victory. Sutton said the actual cleaning of the lawn is contracted out, including the removal of toilet paper, loose litter and any trash.
Clean up of the park typically takes about one or two days. After a big win, like this year’s Iron Bowl, the clean-up can be expected to take more time.
“They usually get started on Sunday morning, usually between 6 and 7 a.m.,” Sutton said. “But because it was such a big win this weekend, we pushed them back to Monday just to give the fans and really all of the Auburn Family time to come up there and celebrate and enjoy the park and toilet paper on Sunday.”
Sutton said there is a specific procedure for cleaning up the park to ensure the trees are not harmed.
“The procedure usually is the Toomer’s Trees and all of the descendant oaks that line the walkway are all handpicked,” Sutton said. “All the toilet paper on the ground is usually harvested first and a water hose is used to get the remaining toilet paper out of the more mature trees.”
The crew has to be careful with their clean up when it comes to the new oaks and any of the descendent oaks said Alex Hedgepath, supervisor of landscape services.
“Typically what happens is once you apply water to toilet paper, if it covers the branches, all branches are covered,” Hedgepath said. “So if that toilet paper covers that bud, there’s no chance, it will smother it. There’s no chance that that leaf will come back out, essentially you’re putting a little bit of a glue on that section of the tree.”
For now, the oaks and any descendent oaks should remain untouched from an Auburn win said Sutton, “We’re asking fans to not roll those [the Toomer’s Oaks], especially if we win the SEC Championship and even the descendent oaks that line the walkway there, but we do have procedures in place to have those handpicked out by the contractor if they do get rolled again.”
After the Iron Bowl win, Samford Lawn was a toilet paper wonderland. Most trees, including the Toomer’s Oaks and the descendent oaks, were rolled.
“The 2010 National Championship was pretty bad, but I think the Iron Bowl, as far as how broad it was, this Iron Bowl can compete a little bit,” Sutton said. “Since we’ve asked the fans not to roll the Toomer’s Trees, they’ve pretty much started rolling the entire park. We’ve tried to designate certain trees for them to roll, but that seems like its spilled over into pretty much every tree in the park.”
Hedgepath said Samford Lawn isn’t the only place on campus where rolled trees can be found. “It seems to be more common after a big win. We’re still cleaning up various rolled trees all over campus, so it’s a little slow going but we’ll get there,” Hedgepath said.
Only Samford Lawn’s clean up is contracted out so when trees around campus are rolled, it’s up to Sutton, Hedgepath and their team. “When it gets outside those limits, then it’s on landscape services. No matter what property it is as long as it’s Auburn University property,” Hedgepath said.
After every big win, including the Iron Bowl, Landscape Services has been and remains ready to clean up the park and the University.