East End News

On Mud Day, some good, clean fun

A group of small children , some in yellow hard hats, play in the mud near a playground picnic table
National Mud Day at Family Learning Center.

As part of International Mud Day, the youngest members of the WashU community marvel at the excavation of 332,000 cubic yards of earth.

In today’s social media age it feels like there’s a day to celebrate everything from food and beverages to careers and pets, but here’s one you’ve probably never thought of – mud. What began in 2009 by two educators from Nepal and Australia is now celebrated around the world on June 29th as International Mud Day. This date encourages creative play, community and connection to the earth.

At WashU’s Family Learning Center, International Mud Day is a favorite for both students and staff, and this year with the university’s East End Transformation, it was more topical than ever. The first phase of construction on the east end began this summer and included the excavation of 332,000 cubic yards of earth. A portion of the excavated dirt will be reused later, but in the meantime, it’s being stored on a future building site on the Danforth campus and at North Campus near the Family Learning Center.

In late June, students saw the parade of trucks bringing dirt to North Campus, and center teachers were equipped to explain the project and incorporate the work into classroom lessons. For Mud Day, students were outfitted with mini WashU hard hats and construction vests to imagine they were part of the project team. Who knows how many future engineers and architects there are in the making!

All photos by Joe Angeles/WUSTL