By Emily Niebuhr  

Student Life Editor

Photos by Cassidy Winborn

At Tyler Junior College there is something beautiful behind  Potter Hall and the Genecov Science Building where students  pass by. It is TJC’s own garden, which has grown since it began  in January 2017. 

Dr. Ryan Button, professor of sociology and assistant director of  the Presidential Honors Program, helped establish the garden and  explained its main purpose. 

“A school garden is a powerful environmental education tool,”  Button said. “Through gardening, students become responsible  caretakers. Also, they have an opportunity to engage in agricultural  practices on a small scale, learning about the responsibilities that  impact land cultivation.”  

The TJC garden is produced by the Green Committee with  Button’s leadership; however, the garden is open to any member of  the TJC community.  

The TJC garden is located behind Potter Hall and the Genecov Science Building

Dr. Manouchehr Khosrowshahi, professor of government, has  been part of the garden project for the past few years. He helps  plant, water, weed out, trim and decorate the garden.  

“The garden is one of the best projects at TJC to benefit everybody.  The garden provides a place for experiencing nature, which is proven  

to benefit mental health and emotional well-being,” Khosrowshahi  said. “Gardening creates a sense of community.” 

The garden has a variety of plants such as turnips, green beans,  basil, oregano, mint, tomatoes, pepper, sweet potatoes, sage, muscat grapes, kale, pumpkin, cantaloupe and garlic. Khosrowshahi added  he expects asparagus “to be productive in about a year.” The garden is also experimenting with ginger and turmeric.  

The garden also serves as a source of free produce to the local  community.  

“They collected and donated over 300 lbs of vegetables during their first crop in the summer of 2017, so since that summer harvest they have not donated any vegetables outside of the community and witnessed more of their own community engage the garden,” Button said. 

Khosrowshahi explained what students should know if they want  to help with the garden.  

“We encourage students to be a part of gardening projects.  However, it must be done under the Green Committee’s direction  to avoid duplication and waste,” Khosrowshahi said. 

The Green Committee meets at 4 p.m. every Thursday in  Vaughn Conservatory. Students should contact Button at rbut2@ if they are interested in joining the committee and/or  helping maintain the garden


  1. The garden initiative is such a great idea, I had no idea there was one at TJC. I agree growing and maintaining a garden brings responsibilities, it is definitely something I’d want to do in my free time. Nature really can help some individuals handle stress which can benefit their mental health and well-being. It is truly amazing the impact nature can bring.

  2. Having a garden is very important because it provides people with scenery while at the same time, the garden helps students be more aware of how vegetation grows.

  3. Emily! I love that you paid the garden some well-deserved attention with this article! I walk past it every day that I am on campus but would’ve never known the purpose, benefits, and opportunity provided to all TJC students outside of simply being a Green Committee project. I have always had a strong passion for horticulture and have tossed around the idea of joining the Green Committee to be a part of the garden project before, but wow! After reading this article, I am fascinated and may have to consider it a little bit more. Great insight, loved this article!

  4. This place is a fantastic place to take pictures. Quick question though: Are the vegetables up for grabs? Like, can someone walk up and take a bell pepper, or do they need to ask?

  5. I had no idea that we had a garden on campus! I like that there are a variety of things grown in our campus garden. The article was well written and very informative.

  6. I can’t wait to check out this garden. It sounds amazing and beautiful. Gardening is great for mental health also. I agree.

  7. Having a garden on campus is so beautiful. Not only does it look amazing, but it exposes students to something they might have no idea about.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here