Members of The Plant Biology Society potting plants. Photo courtesy of MacKenzie Pollock.

The Plant Biology Society is an up-and-coming organization dedicated to helping maintain local greeneries and spread the importance of sustainability through volunteer work.

The organization started January 2018 after several students from Sunethra Dharmasiri’s botany class were encouraged to start an organization emphasizing the importance of plant life.

At the time, the group started off with only 10 members and no place to hold meetings. As time progressed, the organization blossomed in size with now 30 members and a meeting room in the Supple Greenhouse.

Ryan Council, wildlife biology senior, is historian for the Plant Biology Society and has been a member since it first started.

Council said the organization’s purpose is to educate students on plants in interesting ways. He said being a part of the group is an opportunity for students to connect with the San Marcos community through volunteer work.

“We’ve been able to see different plants grow throughout the seasons, which is important because we get to know our community,” Council said.

Once a month, the organization volunteers with the City of San Marcos in maintaining Sessom Natural Area by removing invasive seedlings and constructing contour terracing for the park.

Additionally, the Plant Biology Society volunteers with the San Marcos Green Belt Alliance by maintaining local trails and areas like Purgatory Creek.

Council said being a member of The Plant Biology Society has granted him the opportunity to connect with other individuals who share the same interests as him.

“Being able to get to know different people and what drives their interest about plants has opened my mind about the great diversity that comes with the passion of caring for plants,” Council said.

MacKenzie Pollock, wildlife biology senior, is the president of The Plant Biology Society and has been a part of the organization since it started.

Pollock said being a member of the organization has helped others interested in plant-related research connect and network with professors.

“Being a member of the society really helps members get in contact with professors,” Pollock said. “Students are able to find positions in undergraduate lab research and get references that will allow us to propel in our careers.”

Christian Rodriguez, wildlife biology junior, will serve as vice president for the organization during the 2019-2020 school year.

Rodriguez said The Plant Biology Society allows students to take advantage of the university’s resources, like the greenhouse.

“Before we started, our greenhouse wasn’t really being used by anyone,” Rodriguez said. “I think it’s important students use every research resource we can.”

The Plant Biology Society provides important information about how to care for plants as a hobby, as well as how individuals can protect their environment.

Pollock said she hopes the organization helps educate people on the importance of plants and how they impact the ecosystem.

“Helping the environment all starts with plants,” Pollock said. “It starts with knowing our native plants and educating people about them and what they can do to help.”

For the upcoming school year, Pollock said the organization will continue their monthly volunteer work. Additionally, the organization will participate in Potted Plant Sales, an opportunity where members raise money by selling plants on The Quad. For dates and times for upcoming events, visit the Plant Biology Society website.

General meetings for the organization are held every other Wednesday. Pollock said the organization will have its first meeting Sept. 4 for the fall 2019 school year.

The Plant Biology Society members encourage Texas State students to join. Dues are $10 per semester and anyone is welcome any time throughout the school year.

For more information on The Plant Biology Society, visit them @txstplantbiosoc on Twitter and @txstate_plantbiosociety on Instagram.

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