UT Gardens Named As Tennessee’s Botanical Garden

Tuesday, April 23, 2013
UT Gardens, Knoxville
UT Gardens, Knoxville

Governor Bill Haslam has signed a bill designating the University of Tennessee Gardens as the official botanical garden for the Volunteer State. The UT Gardens are operated by the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture and can be found in three locations:  the UTIA campus in Knoxville, the West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center in Jackson, and the recently added location at the Plateau AgResearch and Education Center in Crossville. The new location is to be formally announced Friday at the Cumberland County 2013 Flower and Garden Show.

The UT Gardens mission is to cultivate an appreciation of plants through horticultural displays, educational programs and research.  Every year more than 100,000 visitors travel to UT Gardens locations to attend one of the many special events and educational seminars or simply to explore the beautiful grounds. The gardens also serve as an outdoor laboratory where researchers evaluate the performance and landscape appeal of each plant.

Dr. Susan Hamilton, director of the UT Gardens, is elated about the statewide recognition. “Everyone associated with the gardens, from faculty, staff and student interns, to the many volunteers, Master Gardeners and donors, has worked hard to present an outstanding collection of public gardens. To be recognized as the state botanical garden is a great honor,” she said. “The designation also heightens awareness of one of Tennessee’s best botanical resources.” 

Ms. Hamilton thanked State Senator Becky Duncan Massey, of Knoxville, and State Representative Jimmy Eldridge, of Jackson, for being the primary sponsors of the legislation.

The designation passed unanimously in both the state senate and house. Previously, Tennessee did not have an official botanical garden. A botanical garden is defined as a garden where experts study, exhibit and teach about plants.

The original UT Gardens location in Knoxville is celebrating 30 years of landscape research and education.  Established in 1983 by the UT Department of Plant Sciences, the UT Gardens have grown into a nationally recognized research and teaching site. They are recognized as one out of 51 official All American Selections (AAS) test sites in the United States, conducting evaluations assessing heat and cold tolerance, flower production, plant uniformity, flower and plant size, pest resistance and landscape appeal. Such information is important to commercial plant and seed companies and essential to the success of commercial growers, landscapers and gardeners, allowing the Tennessee green industry to flourish and for gardening to remain the number one hobby in America.  In addition, public horticulture is among the fastest growing concentrations of study in the UT College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

The gardens are also recognized as a certified Tennessee Arboretum.

All UT Gardens locations are open to the public and free to visit, although some events are fee based.  Plans for additional displays as well as additional locations are in the works. For more information about the UT Gardens, including upcoming events, visit http://utgardens.tennessee.edu or follow on Facebook.

The UT Institute of Agriculture provides instruction, research and public service through the UT College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine, UT AgResearch, including its system of 10 research and education centers, and UT Extension offices in every county in the state.

 


Outdoor Chattanooga News And Events

Here are upcoming news and events from Outdoor Chattanooga: Outdoor Chattanooga Featured Event Adventure Kids After School Program  Sept. 1 through Nov. 17 The  After School Adventure Kids program   is a great opportunity for kids ages 9-13 to build outdoor skills that will stay with them into adulthood. Adventurers ... (click for more)

Claire Henley: Adventures West (Shakedown On The Appalachian Trail)

(Editor's Note: Chattanoogan Claire Henley started an adventure of a lifetime on the remote Pacific Crest Trail in April. Along the way, she had many adventures and found herself a husband named Big Spoon. Here is her story beginning in March). The last three days, I backpacked from Fontana Dam to Newfound Gap in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The 40.6-mile stretch ... (click for more)

East Ridge Council Rejects Bids For Road Work For Bass Pro Shop Development; All Are Above $3 Million

The Bass Pro Shop development at East Ridge has hit another snag as all bids for road projects at Exit 1 and Camp Jordan Parkway came in above the $3 million estimate.   On Thursday night, Mayor Brent Lambert said the city had pledged to build a “fairly vanilla road,” and made a motion to reject all the bids. He said that the street should be “value engineered” because ... (click for more)

Life Care Asks Judge Not To Make Its Leader, Forrest Preston, A Defendant In "False Claims" Action

Attorneys for Life Care Centers of America are asking in a 20-page motion that its founder and still leader, Forrest Preston, not be made a defendant in a False Claims Act lawsuit in Federal Court. The motion says the government "seeks to change the nature and scope of this case seven years after the government began investigating the facts and documents" in the case. Judge ... (click for more)

Vote To Save Graduate Medical Education Funding

As a resident physician at UT College of Medicine Chattanooga, I know first-hand the impact Medicare financing for Graduate Medical Education has on physician education and access to care for patients in our community and communities all over the country.  GME funding provides medical school graduates the opportunity to complete the required years of clinical residency training ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Quaker Oats & Stuff

Some genius in the Quaker Oats marketing department came up with a novel idea last summer with the theme: “What if you had the chance to do something you have always wanted to do … but you had to start today?” Somehow Michael Hope and his family – that includes three children – got to be interviewed and, when his 10-year-old daughter Lauren was asked, she said she always wanted ... (click for more)