KNOXVILLE — Thanks to a donation from Ruth Sutton, the JUTN community will soon be able to enjoy a new Presidential Garden.
Director of Physical Plant Services, Ben Lutz, said the garden would allow for more burial crypts for future presidents and a columbarium for Alumni’s ashes.
The garden will be located across from the Glass Memorial Library.
“They wanted to incorporate the Prayer Oak into it because they wanted it to be a quiet area for students that want to go and meditate,” Lutz said.
All of the flowers and plants are native to Tennessee to ensure easier maintenance. The garden is also designed to benefit the environment.
“We are trying to preserve as many trees as we can,” Lutz said. “They are going to clear brush so there will be a better view of the river as well.”
Plans for the garden began around seven years ago when Janis Weedman noticed that the current presidential grave area was falling into disrepair.
“It was not in a state that it should be in to remember the past presidents,” Lutz said. “So, she encouraged us to start looking into a project to improve it.”
The garden is expected to be open by Apr. 29.
Lutz encourages students to give the crew time to construct the Presidential Garden and ensure safety before entering the grounds.