This story was a collaboration between writer Lillianna Difini and illustrator Alyssa Maziarz.
Illustrations by Alyssa Maziarz
No matter what time of the year it may be, it is always enjoyable to surround yourself with nature’s most beautiful scenery. Here at Kent State lies a hidden treasure that many students may not even know about where visitors are capable of observing nature in all of its beauty regardless of the time of year. Located behind the library near Cunningham Hall is the Kent State Greenhouse, also known as the Herrick Conservatory.
As a small portion of the Department of Biological Sciences here at Kent State, the Herrick Conservatory is a facility that sustains a wide variety of plant life year-round and is used for instruction as well as observation. The facility has a structure divided into several different areas in which a wide variety of plant life is maintained for both educational purposes as well as opportunities for observation. From cactuses and succulents to life-sized trees, the Herrick Conservatory includes a wide variety of plant life available to all students and staff at the university.
Aside from its educational qualities, several other opportunities are available to the public at the greenhouse. Volunteering is an option for students to participate in at the Herrick Conservatory, which is perfect for individuals who are interested in botany or who simply enjoy surrounding themselves with nature. The greenhouse offers several therapeutic qualities as well. There are several benefits to spending time around nature that can help students remain stress-free and continue their academic success. Escaping to the Herrick Conservatory provides a break where visitors can enjoy the scenery of nature’s most beautiful tropical plants. In addition, spending time with the tropical surroundings is a great fix for students who find themselves experiencing symptoms of the “winter blues.”
If students find themselves enjoying the plant life in the greenhouse, there are also opportunities for individuals to purchase a small portion of the plant life in the Herrick Conservatory. Plant sales occur the week before finals each semester. Students and staff are able to visit the conservatory and browse plant selections they can purchase each year on these dates.
Although the hours of operation and opportunities available at the greenhouse may have changed due to current circumstances, the Herrick Conservatory continues to nurse its vegetation to keep the plants in beautiful condition. As time moves forward, students at Kent State are encouraged to visit this beautiful nature conservatory. Undoubtedly in our world today, we can all take a break from some of the overwhelming events around us to enjoy some of nature’s most beautiful creations.
The next time you find yourself wondering what to do with your spare time or experiencing feelings of seasonal depression, consider visiting the Herrick Conservatory to witness beautiful and exotic plant life when time permits to do so.
Lillianna DiFini is a second-year student at Kent State studying communication studies with a concentration in relational and workplace communication. Additionally, she is pursuing a minor in public relations. Lillianna previously wrote for The Burr as a blogger last semester and is now a writer. Her hopes for this semester include continuing to explore her passion for writing as well as create content that is both relevant and interesting to the Kent State community as a whole. After earning her bachelor’s degree in communication studies, Lillianna plans to continue her education and earn her master’s degree in education to one day pursue a career in academic advising.