Spring brings new set of outdoor events

Mark Twain residents potted plants for their rooms Thursday.
School of Medicine staff member Susan Koenig brings in two vases in exchange for a bouquet of flowers Thursday at Tiger Garden. Tiger Garden gave out free flowers to people who brought in vases as a part of its recycling program.

With spring in the air, groups across MU are trying to make the campus a little greener.

With events such as the MU Farmer’s Market in Lowry Mall, free flowers at Tiger Garden and Pot a Plant Day at Mark Twain residence hall, students have made efforts to usher in the new season.

The MU Farmer’s Market, sponsored by the Wellness Resource Center, has been held at MU since 2009. Coordinator Cynthia Foley said Thursday’s market was the last one that will take place this semester, however there will be more in the Columbia area, as well as on campus in the fall.

Foley said the food is more natural than what is often offered.

“They try not to add a lot of chemicals, pesticides, to the beef,” Foley said. “For instance, not a lot of antibiotics and growth hormones and things like that. It is fresh, it’s local. You can meet the people who are raising the item which we think is extremely important.”

Foley said she hopes this experience will have a positive effect on students who attend.

“We’re hoping also that students might someday want to get some ideas about how this food is grown and grow some of their own,” Foley said.

The efforts of the Wellness Resource Center to create a healthier campus do not stop at the Farmer’s Market. They are working with the Mizzou Food Coalition in order to bring this food into dining halls and snack areas on campus. More natural, local food is also being introduced into grocery stores in the area.

Tiger Garden is placing its focus on recycling this spring. Students have until Earth Day to receive free flowers from them.

“We are doing ‘vase recycling’,” Student Manager Becky Means said in an email. “For every two vases you bring in, we will give you a free stem of flowers.”

Means said Tiger Garden accepts vases at all points throughout the year, but the free flower opportunity is only for this week.

“Our main goal is to inform people of this opportunity, encourage them to take care of the earth and get involved in celebrating earth during Earth Day,” Means said.

Mark Twain residence hall’s Green Team also gave away flowers. Thursday served as Pot A Plant Day, where residents were able to plant marigolds in Styrofoam cups to decorate their rooms.

Green Team leader Julie Whitney decided to create the event because the plants are healthy for the environment. They remove air toxins and create better air quality. They are also beneficial to the individual.

“Indoor houseplants help create a healthy relaxing environment,” according to a poster created by Whitney. “Studies have demonstrated that people in indoor environments containing healthy house plants exhibit less stress and had lower blood pressure.”

Students had the opportunity to decorate the pots for their plants, allowing them to match their rooms.

“Marigolds are supposed to bloom pretty fast, so hopefully we’ll at least have something to show by the time finals come around,” Whitney said. “That’s something you can bring home with you.”

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