Organization open to all ‘green’ students

Virginia Berg

Virginia Berg

Roots and Shoots is SDSU’s newest student organization that focuses on environmental conservation and stewardship.

SDSU’s chapter of Roots and Shoots is a local branch of an international organization founded in 1991 by zoologist Jane Goodall and 16 Tanzanian students. The international group focuses on doing projects that improve conditions for humans, animals and the environment.

“Roots and Shoots is a youth-driven organization that is all about helping animals, the environment and the community,” said senior biology major and club founder Courtney Hicks.

According to the Roots and Shoots foundation’s Web site,, all organization members must “undertake service projects in their communities to make a positive difference for people, animals and the environment.”

Since the group was recognized last year, it has been hard at work doing just that. So far the group has taken trips to zoos, read books about conservation to elementary school students and has made enrichment toys for animals at zoos.

“We have had a great time doing the activities that we have done so far,” said Hicks. “We are looking into doing trash pickups and activities at the Watertown zoo and with the Watertown chapter.”

The SDSU group hopes to do several activities, including mentoring, with the much younger Watertown chapter.

“It’s great to see people with similar interests meet, people whose paths might not have crossed before,” said Roots and Shoots adviser Kendra Hill, an assistant professor of biology and microbiology.

The group was brought to SDSU to offer all students, not just biology majors, a way to get involved and help out the environment.

“I thought that it was really neat that Roots and Shoots focused so much on animals,” said Hicks. “There are a lot of environmental groups out there, but there wasn’t really one at SDSU that focused on the animals.”

Although the group may be small in numbers, it has been hard at work doing things for Hobo Day, Hicks said.

“We will have a float in the parade with the Watertown chapter,” said Hill. “We also have members doing Bum-a-meal, collecting cans and have already decorated Allegra Print and Imaging downtown.”

As for the overall goal of SDSU’s chapter, Hicks said it is about getting different people together to raise awareness about animals and the environment.

“It’s all about getting people together and empowering them to make changes,” said Hill.

For further information, check out the Roots and Shoots Facebook page.

#1.881364:3986741011.jpg:DSCF6002.1.jpg:Roots and Shoots members from left to right: Chelsey Loney, a junior biology major, Courtney Hicks, club president and senior biology major, Lou Hohertz, freshman English major, Mercedes Smith, a sophomore sociology major, and Kyle Mustain, freshman computer science major.:Jiajun Yang