By Marie Esther Joseph
Plant Club, formerly known as Botany Club, is a student-based organization founded approximately seven years ago at KU. The Plant Club’s mission is to raise environmental awareness on and off campus.
“If you like plants and like getting your hands dirty, we have various species of plants to learn about in the greenhouse. You do not have to be a science major to be concerned with environmental issues and nature,” says Santa Claire, environmental science major and president of Plant Club.
The club takes charge of and cares for the greenhouse on campus. During their weekly meetings, the members of the club re-pot and identify various plants in the greenhouse. They also restock the greenhouse with new plants–mostly succulents–and trees.
“Being in the greenhouse is such a relaxing atmosphere because we are surrounded by nature. It also feels good to know that we are positively impacting the environment by starting right on campus,” says bio-allied health major Olivia Crouthamel.
As part of the club’s environmental awareness movement, the members are growing trees native to Pennsylvania, such as Maple and Buckeye, which will later be planted around campus.
The club has petitioned for the university to stop using invasive species in their landscaping which can be detrimental to the native plants and the environment.
The club encourages members and anyone who is interested in plants to join them in the various trips they host throughout the academic year. They have traveled to Longwood Gardens—a botanical garden located outside Philly that carries native species of plants to Pennsylvania—to learn more about nature and invasive and non-invasive plants.
Plant Club also participates in community events in order to improve the KU environment. They took part in the Boy Scout event this year where the kids earned science badges for learning about the plants and being more conscious. They also partnered up with the Environmental Action Club (EAC) to clean up the trail in Pinnacle as they hike or clean up Saucony Creek.
Plant Club holds weekly meetings on Thursdays at 11 a.m. in the greenhouse found in Boehm.