UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | May 21, 2024

Approval of new garden club in limbo

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The Learning to Grow Garden Club president gave the club one last shot at existence after having thoughts of dismantling the club toward the start of the semester.

Progress has been slow for The LGGC as it continues to wait for its final approval after nearly two years of patience, paperwork, and a high concentration of meetings. The club’s future rests in the hands of Dixie State University’s space committee, a committee whose purpose right now is to decide whether or not The LGGC’s educational garden is a good idea for the school. If accepted, the garden would reside at the newly acquired property located at 658 E. 200 S.

Victoria Rose, a junior nursing major from St. George and the unofficial club president, said, “Initially, [the club] started out as a way for students to become involved with sustaining themselves [while] finding pride in what they do [as] they provide for themselves and their families.”

The initial creation and plan of the club by Bryan Stevens, an adjunct professor of life sciences, was to fulfill two purposes: create an organic food source for the DSU Food Pantry and create an opportunity for students to learn how to serve themselves and those around them.

By serving, Stevens said it will help students “emotionally and physically” while teaching them to help their fellow peers to have healthy and nutritious food.

The biggest hiccup though for the potential club, Stevens said, was neither himself nor Rose knew who to talk to in regards to seeking approval. Stevens said it’s important to know the right people, and they have to be on board with your ideas. 

“It has been incredibly hard, but now we actually have the right people in play,” Stevens said. “It’s already been proposed to the president and everybody that needed to hear about it, and everyone [loved] it.” 

Stevens said the idea of joining the club and being able to play a part in taking care of a garden is of a huge interest to students. Every time he has proposed this idea, he said on average, at least 60 students have expressed their desire to help. 

Stevens also said there has been students who have anticipated that all they need to do is pull some weeds, but end up drifting away after they have realized the paperwork had not been finished. 

Yet, two DSU employees have said because of the high turnover a university typically has, there’s been concern the responsibilities for the garden will end up in the hands of someone who is not a student.

Community Engagement Specialist Karyn Wright said there may be a need for faculty members to take ownership of the garden because “students come and go.” 

Debi Roth-Carrillo, the landscape and ground supervisor for DSU, said her director, Sherry Ruesch, believes the landscaping department already has “too much to take care of” and thinks the responsibilities of caring for the garden may end up falling into the hands of the department. 

The potential club is now required to wait as the final verdict has yet to be announced. 

“Waiting is the hardest thing,” Rose said. “This is my baby.”