Ideas for planting gardens on the WSU campus began to grow Wednesday evening with a Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) reflection event.
The event was called "Planting the Seeds for a Better Future: The Positive Impact of Plants on Personal and Community Wellbeing." It encompassed discussions between gardeners and students about how plants and gardens provide several physical and mental benefits to people, and even cancer patients in hospitals.
Sophomore anthropology major Caity Ellesmere-Jones, peer mentor for the CCE, said not many people know the mental benefits plants provide.
She said people sometimes do not realize what they gain with plants and she hopes the event can make them more aware of how they treat the environment. She said plants take away her everyday stress and put her in a better mood.
“I hope people feel like it is an issue,” Ellesmere-Jones said. “We wanted to give students a new mindset.”
Heather Huston, Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute Outreach coordinator, led an activity with participants to discuss the benefits of gardening and engage students to share their own gardening experiences.
Douglas Young, a longtime Pullman gardener and a WSU professor in the School of Economic Sciences, attended the event to talk about his love for gardening and asked students several questions about plants grown in their own homes.
“It is great to see people who have so much passion because it really opens your eyes,” Ellesmere-Jones said.
Sophomore pre-health and fitness teaching major and peer mentor for the CCE, Rachel Peters, said her favorite part of the event was getting people involved. She hopes the participants gained more insight on plants and will research further.
Also, she said she would like to see more people go out and create their own gardens. She said adding a community garden at WSU would be great because it can bring less stress to the campus during final exams.
“People could walk to class, see the garden and see life growing,” Peters said.
Freshman communication major Miles Bruck attended the event to receive extra credit for an environmental science class, but also said his eyes opened up to the ecosystem after restoring the Missouri Flat Creek with his classmates earlier in the semester.
He said the presenters really cared about the event and the discussions allowed everyone to express themselves. The event would have been better if it had a couple more activities, though, he said.
“They put on a good show and I learned about the places around Pullman for community gardens,” Bruck said.