Home Campus 3 ways to connect with nature while snow is on the ground

3 ways to connect with nature while snow is on the ground

The BYU-Idaho campus blooms with dozens of trees and plants in the spring and hosts spots for students and families to relax in the summer and fall. The Thomas E. Ricks Horticulture Demonstration Gardens and the Apple Orchard showcase the talents of the University’s Applied Plant Science Department. But in the early months of the year, Spring rain and snow keep outdoor enthusiasts inside.

While many people choose to stay at home, many BYU-I students in Rexburg and connect with their natural side, if they know where to look. The Ezra Taft Benson Building hosts three indoor greenhouses that provide plant-filled locations to relax and study.

Jungle Greenhouse

The Jungle Greenhouse is one of three greenhouses located near The Plant Shop in the Benson Building, but it stands out from the others as soon as the door opens. Filled with 140 unique plant species, the room is perfect for a quick walk, study session or private meditation.

A metal wire table sits on the narrow path which gives a secluded feel for quiet moments with a few friends or alone. The entrance contains a poster with a QR code with information about each plant in the greenhouse. With species like bunya pines from Australia, guava plants from tropical America, or sago palms from Japan, the Jungle Greenhouse gives students the opportunity to interact with flora from around the world.

The red Abyssinian banana tree sits at the lower level of the Greenhouse
The red Abyssinian banana tree sits at the lower level of the Greenhouse Photo credit: Travis Skelton

A lower view of the Jungle Greenhouse
A lower view of the Jungle Greenhouse Photo credit: Travis Skelton

Flowers sprout all over the Jungle Greenhouse
Flowers sprout all over the Jungle Greenhouse Photo credit: Travis Skelton

A lone table in the Jungle Greenhouse lets students study quietly.
A lone table in the Jungle Greenhouse lets students study quietly. Photo credit: Travis Skelton

Natal lily, a flower at the Jungle Greenhouse
Natal lily, a flower at the Jungle Greenhouse Photo credit: Travis Skelton

The creeping fig towers over the entrance to the Jungle Greenhouse.
The creeping fig towers over the entrance to the Jungle Greenhouse. Photo credit: Travis Skelton

The Bloom Room

Another way to connect with nature is to bring some into apartments or homes. The Bloom Room allows students to do just that, as the only flower store on campus.

Kayla Hansen, a junior studying horticulture, works in the student-run shop.

“I feel like being in The Bloom Room and operating, you know, kind of a small business type of thing, it gives me experience that I wouldn’t necessarily get just being in the classroom,” Hansen said.

While the service is available to all students, the spot remains relatively unknown.

“We’re kind of in a weird location and a lot of people don’t know that we’re here,” Hansen said.

The Bloom Room is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Benson 144 and has a variety of floral arrangements for purchase.

An assortment of colorful flowers can be bought at the Bloom Room.
An assortment of colorful flowers can be bought at the Bloom Room. Photo credit: Travis Skelton

This pink plant is located in front of the Bloom Room in the Ezra Taft Benson Building.
This pink plant is located in front of the Bloom Room in the Ezra Taft Benson Building. Photo credit: Travis Skelton

Sunflowers are one of many types that are sold by the Bloom Room.
Sunflowers are one of many types that are sold by the Bloom Room. Photo credit: Travis Skelton

The Scripture Garden

On the far south end of the Benson Building lies a room dedicated to nature’s connection with the Bible.

A poster at the entrance reads, “Here you will find plants mentioned in the scriptures along with their references and a little about their importance both anciently and today.”

The Scripture Garden hosts many plants mentioned in the Christian scripture and has 12 plaques and papers naming the plants and describing them. Inside, students can find frankincense, myrrh, Crown of Thorns and Egyptian papyrus.

The Scripture Garden provides a great indoor opportunity for students looking for a place to read and ponder.

BYU-I contains many places for students to meet indoors during the freezing winters. The Jungle Greenhouse, The Bloom Room and The Scripture Gardens provide locations for students to gather and connect with nature.

The fig tree shades one of the tables in the Scripture Garden.
The fig tree shades one of the tables in the Scripture Garden. Photo credit: Travis Skelton

The Egyptian papyri is one of many scriptural plants located in the Scripture Garden.
The Egyptian papyri is one of many scriptural plants located in the Scripture Garden. Photo credit: Travis Skelton

The Scripture Garden displays a number of Biblical plants and descriptions.
The Scripture Garden displays a number of Biblical plants and descriptions. Photo credit: Travis Skelton

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