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Here in the Garden

June 10, 2024

Shannon DeCillis

Major: Environmental Studies

Class of 2025

When I was just a lost freshman wandering around campus trying to find my way, I never expected this garden I stumbled upon to take up such a part of my life. I began volunteering in the garden last spring. I grew up gardening at home so having the opportunity to work in the dirt even far away kind of grounded me. No pun intended. When I heard that there were new sustainability internships coming out this semester, I knew I just had to apply to work in the garden. I’ve spent this semester planting and caring for plants grown from seeds. It’s so exciting to come back every week and find a new plant has sprouted! Watching them grow from tiny sprouts to full, green plants makes me so happy. I also love working in the garden and finding plants from last year that are continuing strong to create habitats for local pollinators. Having scheduled garden time as if it were a job made me feel as if I was gaining responsibility and knowledge in my own way. I’m also happy with the experience it has given me and I hope to maybe work with plants as a future career. At the very least, I want to work outside. I really hope that I can volunteer again throughout my last year at Purchase and maybe even beyond that, as I don’t feel my work here is done. I look forward to moving to a bigger and better location and to meeting any new plants (and people) that this change brings. I hope that the work that I’ve put in and will continue putting in will better our campus, even if just a little bit, and encourage others to come out and do the same. I also love that I’ve helped others with starting their own native plant gardens and I’m excited to take the knowledge that I’ve gained to start my own in the future. I love doing everything I can to encourage local biodiversity!