$25K Grant to Help DC Students Stop and Smell the Roses

Gardens can be useful, beautiful and inspiring. They also build community and have an educational purpose.

Soon, the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) will allow visitors to stop and smell the roses with the creation of four on-campus "Gardens of the Senses."

Verizon joined UDC officials in a special ceremony on Tuesday, Feb. 12, to launch the school’s new initiative. Verizon’s $25,000 sustainability grant will support UDC’s four teaching gardens on the Van Ness campus. There will be a garden of colors and sights; one of smells and scents; another of touch; and an additional garden dedicated to plant research.

Students from District of Columbia schools will be invited to visit and learn about the gardens, which will be maintained by UDC students from the Garden Club of the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES), with assistance from faculty and staff. UDC students will mentor D.C. elementary, middle and high school pupils on such things as how gardens beautify neighborhoods.

"We hope these gardens will serve as a model for beautifying neighborhoods and for extending our teaching and service mission to the residents of the District of Columbia," said Dr. Sabine O’Hara, dean of CAUSES. "In addition, this project makes a significant contribution to the environmental literacy goal of D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray’s 'Sustainable D.C.' initiative."