New clubs on campus: Environmental Conservation Club

Campus kittens inspire environmental sustainability and education


Hannah Soukup

President on the Environmental Conservation club, Kermit Lattimore, looks forward to helping keep ECC as sustainable as possible.

Indie Wilson and Hannah Soukup

As the second semester of school progresses, more clubs are being created and adding to the list of clubs Elgin Community College has to offer. As of Feb. 22, 2023, another club has been granted temporary status to add more diversity to the student body: the Environmental Conservation Club. 

The Environmental Conservation Club’s mission is to educate students on how to work with the environment instead of around it. Club President Kermit Lattimore was motivated to start the club after a friend throw out some ideas about starting an environmental sustainability club. Later, Lattimore’s motivation grew when he spotted a group of kittens seeking shelter around campus during the harsh winter. 

“I think the thought of those kittens out there lit a fire under me,” Lattimore said. “I am the type of person to go out of my way to save the bugs in my house so this kinda just clicked for me.”

Although the kittens haven’t been seen recently, Lattimore alerted the campus police and other concerned students to get these cats into a safer area. 

“I saw these kittens maybe around a month and a half ago, I believe,” Lattimore said. “They couldn’t have been more than a couple months old as I could hold one fully in just one hand. The first time I saw the kittens was outside the library but I hear they roam around building D more usually.”

Several other students have spotted the cats roaming the ECC campus. Outside of the cat sightings, students are looking forward to the idea of having an ECC club opt for environmental sustainability.

“I saw one cat near the heritage rooms of Building B,” said dual-credit student Natalie Leon. “They [The Environmental Conservation Club] can try to help the cats. I assume they’re already gone, but the environmental club is a nice idea.”

The kittens kindled a new urgency that Lattimore wanted to get across: The importance of a healthy community and sustainability that can educate, inform and bring the public together.

“I think the reason this club is so important to this campus is because there is no club or organization dedicated to the environment at school,” Lattimore said. “I know the school does their best to keep the school healthy and clean but if we had the help of all the students, I believe we can make long lasting changes to the school and maybe even our community.”

The kittens aren’t the only animals that have been seen on campus. Geese, cranes and other small birds have decorated the pond and trees all year-round.

“I noticed a couple years ago that a lot of birds make their nests around campus,” Lattimore said. “Around that time I also started noticing fallen birds nests and our remnants around the campus which made me wonder if there was a way to help them as well. We have a plan for that in the works.”

Because the Environmental Conservation club has just recently been granted access to temporary club status, their first meeting is TBD. About 18 students are already involved, including officers Sunny Athieth and Julia Swanson. Their plan to start hosting meetings every other Friday from 4:00-5:00 p.m. is in the works, and the thought of Zoom meetings is being tossed around so more students can be involved and introduce their ideas.