The Environmental Club is a special interest club on campus created to help further environmental awareness. The club was first known by the name of Cazenovia Conservation Corps, a reference toward the Civilian Conservation Corps founded by Franklin D. Roosevelt in April of 1933. The purpose of the club is to further environmental awareness through interactive educational activities, service to campus, community and country, as well as, learning and development of active conservation practices on campus and abroad.
 
Environmental Club at Nelson Swamp
During the academic year, the club organizes and volunteers at a variety of community events including a stream clean-up in the Cazenovia section of the Chittenango Creek, tree plantings in support of the College’s Tree Campus USA certification, BioBlitz, Science Night, and more. Macgregor Ritz-Kenny ’21, an environmental biology student, is the Environmental Club president. When asked about the main goal of the club, Ritz-Kenny shares, “The club aims to educate people about why it is important to respect the environment. We only have one Earth; it is important to educate and inform people about the environment and sustainability, especially at a local level.”
 
The contributions of the Environmental Club at the local level extend to worldwide environmental awareness and sustainability movements. Recently, the club has been working on a new project that would create local drop-off stations near Cazenovia Lake for used fishing line, allowing it to be properly recycled.
 
Dr. Thad Yorks, club advisor, program director and professor for the Environmental Biology and Biology programs has been involved with supporting the club for ten years. Yorks shares, “While all clubs provide a social atmosphere, service clubs go a step further providing students opportunities to pursue ideas while giving back in the process. Students involved in Environmental Club become invested in our local community. They make connections throughout the community that may help them to land a job in the future. The immediate reward is that they’re proud of the work they do and the difference they’re making.”
 
Environmental Club Activities
One of the biggest service events that the Environmental Club helps plan and run during the school year is the BioBlitz. This year, the event marked its fourth year. During the event, students hosted stations where people of all ages are encouraged to learn about local fish, amphibians, plants, and invertebrates.  Students in the Environmental Biology and Biology programs help participants learn about organisms commonly found in local lakes, wetlands, and forests. The event is normally scheduled in late-September or early in October. This year’s event included sampling plants with a rake-toss and attempting to net fish as well as viewing fish in a temporary “mini-pond.”
 
When asked about BioBlitz and the opportunities it offers, Yorks shares, “It is a learning opportunity for students, allowing upper level students to manage stations while new students fill in to help out and interact with people.”
 
Ritz-Kenny sums up the impact of the Environmental Club, “It’s important to bring up future generations to respect the environment.”
 
Are you interested in becoming involved in the Environmental Club? The club is open to all students on campus. If you are interested in joining the club, contact Macgregor Ritz-Kenny at maritz-kenny@cazenovia.edu. You can also see the club’s activities on Instagram by following hashtag #environmentalclubcazenoviacollege.

Adrianna Baker, Communication Studies ’21


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