Ecology Club Tackles Invasive Species, Litter at Rocky River
Anderson University College of Arts and Sciences do more than just study wild spaces.
They take an active role in preserving them for future generations.
The AU Ecology Club met at Rocky River Nature Park on Thursday for a park clean-up event. The Ecology Club is a nonprofit organization within the College of Arts and Sciences’ biology department, where students team up to educate others on the importance of the natural world.
“We’re focused on the conservation of local flora and fauna in the Anderson area,” said Ecology Club President Oliva Little. “Cleanup events like this one are meant to raise community awareness for environmental action and care for natural places like Rocky River Nature Park.”
The Rocky River Nature Park is a beautiful natural landscape along the Rocky River. It boasts rich native plant life and diverse species of animals, used academically by Anderson University biology classes and recreationally by city of Anderson residents. It is managed by Anderson University students and faculty through cleanup events hosted by the University Ecology Club.
On Thursday, the group of eleven students walked the trails of the park, gathering litter and clearing kudzu vines—an invasive species—from the indigenous plant life. Little says that litter and kudzu serve as a devastating pair in natural landscapes, choking out valuable native plant species.
The Ecology Club is making a clear difference in the natural areas surrounding Anderson University. At a cleanup event earlier this year, the Ecology Club waded into Cox Creek, just outside of Rocky River Nature Park, and extracted four full bags of trash per person. This type of progress is certainly making a difference in the environment at Anderson University and the surrounding city, but Little encourages others to step up, as well.
“We would love for anyone interested to come out to these cleanup events but people can do it on their own, as well,” Little said. “This is an environment that we all share, so we should treat it well for the good of the campus and for the good of the Anderson community.”