Plant Giveaway: Students eagerly take home their new plants

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Plant Giveaway: Students eagerly take home their new plants

Students were allowed to pick out two plants from the variety offered to them at the annual Plant Giveaway.

Students were allowed to pick out two plants from the variety offered to them at the annual Plant Giveaway.

Hope Gilbertson ('22) | Chips

Students were allowed to pick out two plants from the variety offered to them at the annual Plant Giveaway.

Hope Gilbertson ('22) | Chips

Hope Gilbertson ('22) | Chips

Students were allowed to pick out two plants from the variety offered to them at the annual Plant Giveaway.

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On Thursday morning, a long line of students patiently stood near the doors of the Valders greenhouse waiting for their chance to receive a plant from Luther’s annual Plant Giveaway. The Center for Sustainable Communities partnered with Wellness and the Luther College Grounds Crew to use the Plant Giveaway to promote wellness and sustainability at Luther.

Before the event, students lined up to get first pick of the plants in the greenhouse. Sophia Rodriguez (‘22) got in line 15 minutes prior to the start of the giveaway in order to have a wider selection of plants to choose from.

“We got here pretty early, so that was good,” Rodriguez said. “I’m pretty excited and I’m hoping to get maybe a cactus or something really tall and pretty.”

The event saw at least 100 participants in the two hours that it ran. In order for the event to run smoothly, the staff let eight students into the greenhouse at a time and allowed each to choose up to two plants from the available selection. Maddie Davis (‘22) said she waited in line for 30 minutes and that wait was worth it.

Hope Gilbertson (’22) | Chips
Chi Linh Pham (’19) brought home a large cactus.

“It’s a great opportunity to add some green to my dorm room, especially since winter will be here before we know it,” Davis said. “It’s also fun because students seem to get very excited about it.”

Food and Farm Fellow Sarah Forsythe (‘15) helped to coordinate the Plant Giveaway this year. The event originally served to assist the grounds crew in getting rid of extra plants but has since developed into an event that connects Luther students with the Center for Sustainable Communities.

“It started off as a collaboration between Center for Sustainable Communities and Perry Halse, who is one of the grounds crew leaders,” Forsythe said. “He had an excess amount of plants and had a lot of people asking for them, so it was just a way of bridging the divide. Then the Center for Sustainable Communities stepped in and provided funding.”

Hope Gilbertson (’22) | Chips
Students were allowed to pick out two plants from the variety offered to them at the annual Plant Giveaway.

Some students went home with more than just plants at the Plant Giveaway. As students waited to receive their plants, the Center for Sustainable Communities gave away personal compost bins to students to promote sustainability. The center also conducted sustainability trivia with the waiting participants.  Crew member Sam Clements (‘19) stressed the importance of composting.

“We know not all food is eaten inside the Caf,” Clements said. “So if you are having a snack or have some coffee grounds or tea bags or banana peels or whatever leftover, you can put it in here. That way we can further divert waste from the landfill.

Student coordinator for the event Anna Lavender (’21) believed the event to be a massive success because the event drew in so many Luther students.

Hope Gilbertson (’22) | Chips
The Plant Giveaway offered a variety of plants to students.

“Wellness donated money for trays to go underneath the plants, and we ran out halfway through,” Lavender said. “We had quite a few plants after that, so my best guess would be that we gave away over 300 plants.”

Forsythe believes plants have the ability to positively impact the lives of students and that the plants put in the dorms help keep students positive throughout the long winters and brighten up student’s living spaces.

“It’s sprucing up your dorm,”  Forysthe said. “It’s seeing your plant in the middle of winter, and thinking ‘oh yeah, spring is on the way.’ It’s the ability for students and staff and faculty to green up their spaces.”

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