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The club is dedicated to creating more biodiversity on campus. (UMKC)
The club is dedicated to creating more biodiversity on campus. (UMKC)

Several years after it was disbanded, UMKC is hosting a new club dedicated to the biodiversity and sustainability of the campus grounds.

Officially introduced this spring, students created UMKC’s Gardening Club out of a unified goal to better environmentalism efforts on campus so that it can continue to flourish for years to come.

A biology major at UMKC, Vice President Amelia Beharry said that the Gardening Club will offer a space for green thumbs at UMKC to have fun and make friends that share the same enthusiasm for gardening.

“I love gardening and how it creates a relaxation space for me,” Beharry said. “I will admit that starting this club was a long process, as each of us are busy people with even busier schedules, but we got through it together.”

Beharry, along with the other executive members, said that the Gardening Club started out as a small project for their social action class. After the project concluded, the students decided to form an official club with three primary goals.

“The mission of the Gardening Club is to: one, revitalize the Student Union rooftop gardens; two, promote biodiversity on campus; and three, advocate for sustainability on campus,” said President Hannah Leyva.

Leyva, a sophomore majoring in sociology, also noted that the club’s most immediate goal for the spring is to recruit a general body, which will be necessary to keep the club going between school years.

“For [the Gardening Club], it is not about the numbers and how many students we have registered on RooGroups, but the community we hope to grow,” Leyva said.

The current executive team of the club is searching for any students who hold a unique passion for gardening and overall sustainability. Although the Gardening Club is not the first club dedicated to making UMKC’s campus more green, it is currently the only one. 

Before the pandemic, there was a UMKC-based organization by the name “UMKC Garden Collective.” However, this group disbanded due to members graduating and the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, which left the gardens unattended.

Currently, the Gardening Club is starting its work in the Student Union rooftop garden.

“We have begun the process of preparing the north bed by removing old plants and tilling the soil,” said Sonya Ahmad, the club’s secretary. 

The club’s future plans include planting more vegetables and fruits in the garden for the fall season so that they are ready to be picked by the next spring season.

Interested students are encouraged to attend the Gardening Club’s upcoming planting party on Friday, April 29, at 3:00 p.m. at the Student Union.

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