Plants and gardening are not foreign concepts to the Eco Bods on campus at Washburn but they may be to some of the other students at our university. Every week since the start of April, Eco Bods have been giving away plants to students in the Stoffer Science building to give people something to care for over the summer and learn how to take care of plants in general. While some may think plants are relatively easy to care for, Eco Bods would have them think otherwise.
Eco Bods are a student-run organization that is led by Kellis Bayless, biology lecturer and the main force behind the event. This event is open on select days throughout the remainder of the spring semester. Bayless helps maintain the greenhouse area by Stoffer, the prairie gardens just outside the south entrance and some of the vegetable gardens by the Living Learning Center. He has been part of the university since 2006 and he started Eco Bods in 2007. He was proud to say the organization has been doing a plant sale every year since it was started.
“Students initially convinced me to get this thing started just as a general environmental awareness event,” Bayless said. “I teach plant physiology here so that’s why I’m so involved with the garden and the greenhouse areas in Stoffer.”
He went on to talk about some of the other events that Eco Bods has been involved with over the years such as recycling campaigns, working with Chartwells to encourage them to recycle more, showing documentaries on campus about various issues impacting the environment and they even sponsored an alternative spring break trip for students to the San Padre islands a few years ago to work on sea turtle habitats.
Each separate variety of plant being given away requires specific needs in order to thrive. Correct amounts of sunlight, water and fertilizer can allow a plant to survive for months or even years while it’s adoptive “parent” finishes his or her classes at Washburn. For some people, such as Catherine Tew, junior education major, taking care of a plant while also taking on a full workload from being a full-time student can be relaxing and enjoyable.
“I think that this is an amazing idea as it helps my addiction with taking care of plants. I have a whole room full of plants at home and I love adding to my collection,” Tew said. “Taking care of a plant gives you something to do and helps reduce my stress.”
While the plants given away at the booth are free, a donation is encouraged from students to keep the event going for the following years and to help support the gardens by Stoffer that Bayless manages. There will be more Eco Bod plant sales on April 23 – 26 at various times in the morning and the afternoon. Plants will be given away in Stoffer Science Hall. For more information, email Bayless at [email protected]