Throughout the fall semester, first-year students were introduced to Meredith’s Three Sister’s Garden as part of their First Year Experience curriculum.
Students visited the garden and were given a tour by Aaron Schettler, grounds manager. He showed students various plants that could be found in the garden as well as across campus, and invited students to taste different plants and teas, while explaining their significant health benefits. Schettler has worked with Bill Landis, head of the nutrition, health, and human performance department, to expand the garden, which Landis started following a sabbatical a number of years ago.
“The FYE garden visits were viewed as a way of introducing new students to the ideas of service, sustainability, and wellness on the Meredith campus,” said Grace Sugg, associate director of admissions.
Sugg coordinated the project as part of an internship for her graduate studies.
“Since most first-year students are enrolled in FYE classes, this approach provided a consistent way of sharing these opportunities with many new students.”
In fact, 27 sections of FYE participated, which represents approximately 85% of the entire first year class.
According to Sugg, the hope is that by introducing students to the garden during their first semester, they will return often throughout their time at Meredith, investing in this campus resource and benefitting from all it has to offer the community.
“At the conclusion of the class visits, many students had already signed up for the email list to inform them of future garden opportunities,” said Sugg.
The garden has been in its current location since 2013, where it was moved and reconstructed through a grant from the College. Student-led garden initiatives include weekly farm stands offering fresh produce grown in the garden and providing produce for Campus Kitchens at Meredith College, a food reuse and hunger program.