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The Daily Tar Heel

Medicinal gardens around Health Sciences Library are being restored

(From left) William Welbourne, a junior biology major and Danny Kelly, a senior history major, tend to a medicinal garden located near the Health Sciences library.

(From left) William Welbourne, a junior biology major and Danny Kelly, a senior history major, tend to a medicinal garden located near the Health Sciences library.

“We’re focused on building the medicinal gardens up to its fullest potential, maintaining it, making it a destination spot on campus,” said Abby Talmadge, a junior biology major and the project’s publicity manager. “We also want to reach out to the community and educate them on the medicinal use of plants, as well as be of aid to other community projects.”

A medicinal garden is a garden filled with plants used not for aesthetic value, but for medicinal purposes.

Brandon Gibson, a junior biology major and one of the project’s co-presidents, said he hopes the garden will become a go-to spot for students on campus.

“It’s gonna be one of those locations on campus that you’re gonna wanna visit, that you’re gonna be proud of to show off as well, and I’m just looking forward to making that happen,” Gibson said.

So far the club consists mainly of students enrolled in Alan Jones’ Biology 217 course, but members say they hope to expand the club’s membership.

“Our biggest focus is just to grow the club so we can keep the garden thriving,” said Ana Amaya, a senior biology major and one of the club’s co-presidents.

Along with expanding their membership, Talmadge said they want to expand people’s knowledge of medicinal plants and their uses.

“We think it is important, especially as a research and medical institution here at UNC, that people know that medicinal herbs are important,” Talmadge said. “It’s the basis for, you know, pharmacology. All the compounds come from natural compounds somewhere at some point, we make compounds, but you know, they are from plants originally.”

Despite some of the obstacles the club has faced, Gibson said they have received support from the community.

“With any club you’re going to have your troubles and all of that, but we have a lot of people especially here in North Carolina, Chapel Hill, that are all about sustainability, all about our garden here,” Gibson said.

“And when you reach out everybody asked has helped out as well, even by sending seeds or even by putting their own time, sweat into the garden themselves or just by offering any advice they have. So that’s really uplifting and something that I didn’t really expect when we first took part in the club.”

Information about the project and upcoming events can be found at http://medicinalgardens.web.unc.edu/

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