Club Close-up: Botany and Campus Garden Club

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Retrieved from the Botany and Campus Garden Club MyOrgs page.

Alison Obright, Arts and Entertainment Reporter

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Botany and Campus Garden Club is an organization for students who enjoy botany and caring for plants. The club holds many outdoor and plant-centered activities for members and their friends. Club dues are $5 for the semester or $8 for the year according to the club’s MyOrgs webpage. The club is open to students of any major.

The student organization meets once a month to participate in activities. Botany and Campus Garden Club member Emma Weber said in the past, activities have included apple picking, pumpkin carving, flowerpot painting, plant propagation, and an annual spring plant sale.

“It’s a really great way to meet people and to meet people in a fun way, too. [Members] probably have similar interests to you so their hobbies are probably similar, but it also attracts a really wide crowd because it isn’t specifically dedicated to a major,” said Weber.

Weber said she first became interested in the club because of the sense of community the group offered. “My freshman year I was really looking for a club that would allow me to meet people but also, like, [a club] I was kind of interested in,” she said.

Botany and Campus Garden Club member Morgan Tresemer said she joined the group to help grow her plant collection and get to know students with a similar interest in plants. “It’s just a whole bunch of plant lovers that all get-together and kind of talk about plants. It’s been a really good experience – it’s a very welcoming group. Anyone’s welcome even if you’re new to caring for plants or have a whole bunch of plants,” she said.

Club president Cedric Neve said the low-stress environment of Botany and Campus Garden Club is what makes the club appealing. “It is a very laid-back club. We try to do activities. We try to make sure that it’s fun and something that doesn’t really require stress or a lot of planning on [the members’] part. They can just kind of come talk to some people and have a good time while still being immersed in science in a more casual, relaxed way,” he said.

Due to COVID-19 safety concerns, student organizations at UWL will remain in online formats until Oct 19. According to Neve, the club has only had one virtual meeting so far. The meeting was used to discuss options for club activities during the virtual meeting period.  “We usually meet in the greenhouse. There’s usually 15 or so of us so we’re pretty snug in there, so we can’t really do that. Then also the activities require touching the same kind of stuff, so that’s been challenging. Pretty much all the stuff that we usually do we can’t do the same at least this year,” said Neve.

Tresemer said the organization’s members have several ideas for activities moving into the semester. “This year we’re kind of planning, maybe, to do some more socially distant activities or maybe activities we can plan together but do on our own.” She said events like nature walks, plant identification, and other outdoor activities have been discussed.

Tresemer said that pumpkin carving was her favorite club activity. “[Club leadership] came with the whole back seat of their car filled with pumpkins. We all got to pick a pumpkin and carve it and everything, they had all the supplies for us,” she said.

Neve said his favorite Botany and Campus Garden Club memory was when the group carpooled to an apple picking event his freshman year. “Pretty regularly we try to go apple picking in the fall. And we carpooled when we still could. The person we were carpooling with had something wrong with her car, like her muffler or something. So we were driving to Galesville and the car was extremely loud. Nothing bad happened, it was just funny,” he said.

For more information about the Botany and Campus Garden Club at UWL, visit the club’s MyOrgs webpage or visit the club’s Instagram @uwlbotany.

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