Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Texas A&M Announces Gardens and Greenway Project with Dr. Welsh serving as Coordinator!

From Mark A. Hussey, Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor and Dean
Agriculture and Life Sciences:

The Gardens and Greenway will be located on West Campus on the corner of Discovery Drive and John Kimbrough.   Approximately 45 acres have been set aside for the project—an area designated the West Campus Greenway by the Board of Regents in 1998 to protect the White Creek.
Working with a broad group of faculty, staff, students and community leaders from across campus, we developed a “dream list” of elements for the gardens and greenways.  Garden elements may include establishing bird watching areas for our many native species to providing places for teaching and relaxation.   A group of dedicated graduate students in landscape architecture under the direction of Dr. Jon Rodiek created a conceptual plan for the project.

This plan has been approved as part of the Texas A&M University master plan and I’m confident that the Gardens and Greenway will now become a reality!  It is a long term dream, but the development efforts for the project have just been launched with the formation of a fundraising task force and a recent article in Spirit magazine. The project will be created with funding from private individuals, foundations, and corporations.   As elements of the project are funded, students, faculty, staff and the community will be engaged for input on the design for each element.  I also intend to create an endowment to ensure that we can pay for the long-term management of the facilities and gardens.

The future “backyard of Texas A&M” will offer all of us who live and work on campus as well as the community and visitors a relaxing retreat. With facilities to serve students and community alike, the Gardens & Greenway will feature outdoor classrooms, teaching gardens, grassland and wildflower areas, tree-lined trails, and much more. For a sneak peak of what we envision for this project, please watch the video. 
Dr. Doug Welsh, professor emeritus of horticultural sciences, is the project coordinator.  Feel free to contact him at dougwelsh@tamu.edu or 979-862-1697 to learn more.  I look forward to future bluebonnet blooms at the Texas A&M Gardens and Greenways here on west campus.  Learn more at http://agrilife.org/texas-am-gardens-and-greenway-project/

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