For their first outing, just three weeks after getting organized, Nature Club took 27 students hiking at Starved Rock State Park.
“It was fun to just hang out with people. There were a couple people I didn’t know very well, there were a couple people who [I’m] very close [to] … it was fun because [we were] on this adventure together,” freshman Veronica Langley said.
The trip gave students a chance to escape campus after a long and chilly start to Spring Term.
“I went to Starved Rock during Spring Break and it was still not spring … so I didn’t get to see much of the greenery and all the waterfalls,” sophomore Swarup Behera said. “So this was my second chance going to Starved Rock … so I was really excited to go with friends.”
Based on the trip to Starved Rock, both Langley and Behera said they would be watching out for more Nature Club events.
One of Nature Club’s potential projects is building places for students to relax outside on campus, without having to travel to a State Park. Freshman Acacia Berg, one of the vice presidents of the club, said that she hoped that the club could help develop hangout spots on campus where students could escape to enjoy nature.
“If we can set up, like we were talking about [at the meeting] a hang-out area outside on campus, that would be super cool. Even though a lot of people you can see hanging out in the grass and stuff, if we had an area set up with maybe hammocks or an area that’s really accessible to allow people to go there and spend time appreciating nature around them,” Berg said.
According to club president and freshman Caitlin Edelmuth, the club combines what had formerly been Bee Club and Garden Club, but focuses on enjoying nature. Berg said that she had noticed that Students for Sustainability did a lot of important work for the environment, but that it did not seem to give much attention to getting outside to enjoy nature.
“It’s just kinda to allow people to reconnect with nature because I feel like so many people have become so focused on technology,” Edelmuth said of the trip to Starved Rock.
In line with being the combination of Bee Club and Garden Club, the new club has two focuses according to Edelmuth. One is to continue promoting knowledge about bees and the other is addressing the state of the monarch way stations. Berg is the V.P. in charge of the way station projects.
“A lot of people who came to Knox were really intrigued by [Bee Club] and then once I found out that it had just kinda fallen apart, I thought that was really unfortunate and everyone got really excited when we were kinda bringing it back but expanding on it,” Edelmuth said.
The club is not limiting itself to just bee or gardening projects. They do hope to make quick progress on those and at the April 28 meeting they discussed having a clean-up day for one of the way-stations.
One other potential project they discussed is a DIY lip balm workshop. They have all the materials, but given the club’s newness and the lack of time remaining in the term decided to most likely wait until next term to host it.
The club does not have a budget for next year, due to missing the budgeting process, but Edelmuth was not worried by that. This year, the club used Bee Club’s budget. The club’s goals are not big monetary issues.
“We’re just going to be unbudgeted next year. But we’re going to be working with Engineering Club, we’re going to make little bee keychains … a lot of Nature Club is going to be just appreciating nature, so it’s not really a big monetary thing. We have our hike but other than that it shouldn’t be a lot,” Edelmuth said.