Imagine a backyard like no other. A backyard dedicated to both education and entertainment, while also preserving and enhancing its natural beauty. This 45-acre dream backyard, named the Texas A&M Gardens & Greenway, is finally becoming a reality.
The first sign of the Gardens and Greenway project came this spring with the blooming of the wildflower patch next to the Agriculture and Life Sciences Complex on west campus. The wildflowers, planted last October by Wildseed Farms out of Fredericksburg, offers a glimpse to the beauty that is in store when the Gardens and Greenway are completed.
Beginning this fall, visible construction on the Gardens and Greenway will be underway, starting with the restoration of White Creek. White Creek and the surrounding area was designated the West Campus Greenway in 1998 by the Board of Regents. The Gardens and Greenway project will preserve and enhance this area for generations to come.
Texas A&M has provided $1.5 million to help fund the White Creek renovations, which will include the construction of bridges and sidewalks, addressing other infrastructure needs, and stream restoration.
“Restoring White Creek with natural channel design will address our storm water management issues as well as enhance the beauty of the creek,” said Dr. Doug Welsh, Texas A&M professor emeritus and program coordinator for the Texas A&M Gardens and Greenway project.
The restoration plan will also create connectivity through a series of bridges and trail systems crossing over the creek. This connectivity will be especially helpful once the new, west campus dormitories are constructed, linking the Agriculture and Life Sciences Complex to the dorm amenities. Dr. Welsh’s goal is to have the restoration of the creek finished by fall 2015.
Though the creek restoration will begin thanks to money provided by the university, a vast majority of the funds needed to continue the gardens and greenway construction will come from individual donors. Donations to and construction of the project will occur in phases.
Phase one will include the following features:
- Teaching gardens to serve as a venue for both outdoor teaching and demonstrations
- Open-air pavilion for outdoor programs and social events
- Climate-controlled schoolhouse for indoor educational programs
- Greenhouse used for growing, maintaining, propagating and handling plant material
- Rose garden that will focus on Texas-tough rose species and varieties tested and developed at Texas A&M
- Barn that will function as the support building for the greenhouse
- Cabin with offices for garden staff and volunteers
Phases two-four will include features such as the grove amphitheater, a courtyard, a post oak savannah ecosystem, and an outdoor living area.
“The Gardens and Greenway will provide the students, faculty and staff of Texas A&M as well as the general public, a place to relax and learn simultaneously,” said Dr. William Dugas, Acting Vice Chancellor and Dean for Agriculture and Life Sciences. This will truly be a landmark for campus.”
How to make the Gardens & Greenway a reality:
LEARNING FUND — supports student internships and activities producing service and experiential learning opportunities for students, faculty, staff and the communityTo give to the learning fund, please click here.
CONSTRUCTION FUND — supports design, construction and endowment of long-term management for select features of the Gardens and Greenway as depicted on the Master Plan.To give to the construction fund, please click here.
The Texas A&M University campus is home to the Aggie family. As every family needs a home, every home needs a backyard. The Texas A&M Gardens and Greenway will truly be a backyard like no other.