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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Fall into the gardens: West campus retreat

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Photo courtesy of Angelique Gammon

Fall Into The Gardens: West Campus Retreat Will Host Fall Festival Oct. 22

 

At the entrance of The Gardens on West Campus stands the Aggie-themed windmill fountain, which reads “Farmers Fight!” and drowns out unwanted noise for potentially studying students. Down the gravel path is the luscious Leach Vineyard, lined with varieties of Texas grapes for research and wine-making. Hidden in foliage is the bird garden equipped with a weathered, wooden bird blind for visitors to watch birds native to the area. Behind this garden trickles the long and winding White Creek with a camouflaged balcony for onlookers to observe the water, trees and animals as well as insect life. 

This educational and protected environment brings people together with the fall weather to explore natural beauty, enjoy tranquil seating and study areas and enjoy the many water features. Nestled in a back corner of The Gardens are the Food and Fiber Fields full of white, fluffy cotton ready to be picked for the Fall Festival on Oct. 22 from 9-11 a.m., The Gardens manager Joseph Johnson said. 

The Gardens are for the community to come out and visit, Johnson said. It’s a public as well as a teaching garden, with collections of plants that do well in the climate and soils. Some of the plant material is used by the Department of Horticulture for their teaching of plant identification and classes come out here for the serenity of being outdoors, Johnson added. 

“[For the Fall Festival] We’ll be picking cotton from our cotton rod in our Food and Fiber Fields,” Johnson said. “We’ll actually gin it and Brazos Valley Spinners and Weavers will come and spin it so people can see the raw product going all the way to a usable fiber product.”

Any day of the year, The Gardens are a sanctuary for students and visitors to escape from the noise and bustle of everyday life, according to The Gardens website. The space allows visitors to participate in educational programs, tours, lectures, classes, volunteer opportunities and events.

Free public restrooms and water fountains are accessible to visitors near The Pavilion, a rentable space for weddings and events. Students can study in the multitude of shaded seating arrangements, such as the benches immersed in lush grass located behind The Pavilion. These areas are stocked with weather-proof chairs and allow visitors to breathe in the fresh air as they catch up on reading or use the free wifi to complete homework.  

Bus 3 will take students from the Memorial Student Center and drop them off at the White Creek Community Center. The Gardens are an educational opportunity to see the different products grown because the Food and Fiber Fields change seasonally, plant and environmental soil science senior Ty Janksy said.

“I study here once a day during the week so in between classes if I need a little decompressing stroll, I’ll just walk through or if I need time to read I’ll come here,” Jansky said. “I love this place during Christmas because they get it all decorated, and they wrap all the light poles and windmills with Christmas lights.”

For more information visit gardens.tamu.edu.

Katie Satterleee is an English senior and contributed this piece from the course JOUR 203, Media Writing I, to The Battalion.

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