On a beautiful spring day, dedicated students at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith took a break from studying for their exams to get their hands dirty and create a sanctuary for the bees and butterflies of Fort Smith.
The vibrant and carefully constructed new pollinator garden is taking shape thanks to a gardening initiative from the UAFS Green Team, Garden Club, and Pi Kappa Pi Fraternity.
Matt Rich, grounds manager for UAFS and its contracted lawn service company, Southeast Service Corp., partnered with the student groups to construct the flower garden with an intentional mix of pollinator-friendly flowers including bee balm, delphinium, phlox, alyssum, delph, hyssop, catmint, lavender, borage, and tansy.
The half-oval plot for the garden is located adjacent to the campus greenhouse, directly behind the Math-Science building, located at 720 N. 49th St.
“It is great to see student organizations that care about their surroundings and support each other to such a great cause,” said Rich, who was excited to partner with the groups in their efforts. Their initiative to take ownership of their space not only speaks to their leadership and investment in their campus, Rich explained, but also in bettering the learning space for their peers.
"We've been talking about this project for almost a year,” said Samantha Pham, vice president of the Green Team and Garden Club. “Now that it's finally coming to life I couldn’t be any happier!”
The pollinator garden is one of several collaborations the Green Team has taken part in during their first year as a registered student organization. They have worked with 64.6 downtown, the Art Club, UAFS waste management, and AR for CDL explained Pham. “We are currently building many more partnerships within the community to raise awareness about sustainability and to help make UAFS a greener campus."