Ecobods grow on Washburn

Earth Week activities to highlight sustainability in WU community

Kenzie McCoy

The Washburn Ecobods, a student-led environmental group, creates opportunities for students to make a difference on campus by cleaning and maintaining the greenhouse, or by hosting an annual plant sale.

The group, which was originally named the Washburn Tree Huggers, was founded in 2007 by Dr. Kellis Bayless, the group’s current faculty adviser.

“The group was started by me and a student in my human impact class,” Bayless said. “The student approached me and we began talking about forming a student group; we called ourselves the Washburn Tree Huggers. We then found out about another environmental student group, called the All Greens, and after about a year we combined the two groups and became the Ecobods.”

Bayless says that Ecobod members come from many different majors, and many students have joined the group after taking Bayless’s environmental science class, otherwise known as BIO 203. Bayless also says that their group activities depend heavily on what topics the group members are interested in.

“If [a student] was interested in this type of [environmental] group, then being a part of this would make you feel like you were really doing something and getting involved,” Bayless said. “This group is very student led and we need active students. One year, during spring break, we sponsored a service trip to South Padre Island for students to help sea turtle conservation.”

Natalie Flaucher, a senior nursing major and Ecobod vice president, said the group usually meets once or twice a month and has a very relaxed atmosphere. So far, the Ecobods don’t have any concrete plans for their activities this semester, but expect to host a plant sale and possibly showcase films for students.

“It’s a very diverse group of people, being from all different areas of interest and we all have very different reasons for wanting to join and be a part of [the Ecobods],” said Flaucher. “The more people we get actively involved in the group, the more we can do together and make an impact on campus.”