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Auburn University receives $1.2M donation for children’s garden project

Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 1:07 PM CST
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AUBURN, Ala. (WTVM) - Auburn University is receiving a $1.2 million gift that will go to the creation of a children’s garden project.

With the multiyear donation, courtesy of Bonnie Plants Foundation, a two-acre children’s garden and pollinator garden will be developed within the school’s Transformation Garden.

“The Bonnie Plants Foundation is proud to partner with Auburn University to establish the Children’s Garden and Pollinator Garden which will be a destination for students and the community alike,” said Mike Sutterer, president and CEO of Bonnie Plants. “We’re confident this space will provide invaluable experiences to grow a love of gardening in young people and even inspire the next great generation of horticulture leaders.”

University officials say the garden will be an innovative and imaginative resource for educational programming and community outreach.

“Like the name of our garden, this generous gift from The Bonnie Plants Foundation will be truly transformational in enabling us to create a community-focused space where we can share our knowledge and love of horticulture and educate the public about our historic land-grant mission,” said Desmond Layne, head of Auburn’s Department of Horticulture.

This donation marked Bonnie Plants Foundation’s first major public gift, according to officials. They have plans for continued investment for increasing healthy, affordable, and local food access and horticulture education in the community.

Auburn officials say the garden, to be named by the Bonnie Plants Foundation, will be open to the public and cultivate a love of gardening in children and families through hands-on learning experiences.

Crews are expected to begin work on the garden later this year - with the initial phase planned to open in Summer 2023.

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