Earth Day: Tech Library to Give Away Plants

By Razia Sultana

The William L. Mack library has been transformed into a serene garden. Librarians Sonia Laudi and Susan Sabah have been growing plants in the library’s storage room in preparation for Earth Day on April 22, 2013.

Laudi and Sabah will give away the plants growing in the library to students. They also plan to hold a workshop that will educate students on the importance of “green energy.”

According to Laudi, the workshop will include a screening of the documentary Dirt. This film depicts the impact humans have on the environment. The screening will be followed by a lesson on plants, seeds, and the ideal conditions for plant growth.

For Laudi and Sabah, the primary goal of this workshop is to educate students on the importance of taking care of the environment, and encourage them to pursue jobs in green energy.

They are doing all they can to provide students with the resources to learn all they can about eco-friendly energy sources.

“We have over 300 plant books here in the library. I’m sure students will take great interest in what they read,” said Laudi. She added that her favorite thing about planting is, “to see a seed go from virtually nothing to a great big something. To eat something grown by your very two hands is amazing.”

Christine Johnson ’15, a library monitor, feels that this will be a great opportunity for students to acquire a “green thumb” and learn how useful plants are to everyday life.

“I used to work in a greenhouse where we used plants as special education therapy,” Sabah said. “Growing plants really helped the people. They loved it. I believe Tech students will love it too.”

Laudi and Sabah’s plant collection in the library includes cacti, oxalis, and coleus. Each plant requires watering at least three times a week and is currently perched on a windowsill or radiator in the storage room to access sunlight.

Laudi said, “[Our] prized beauty is the dark purple, butterfly-leafed Oxalis plant.”

With deep pink flowers that bloom during spring, this plant is mainly used as a natural ornament. According to Laudi, the oxalis plant is also referred to as a “shamrock” and the “Americanized version” of a four-leafed clover.

Another monitor at the library, Hannah Chu ’15, has worked diligently to make both the library and its garden stunning. She is the seasonal designer of the garden as well as the artist behind the decorative pots in Laudi and Sabah’s collection. Her latest work is called “Starry Night,” a pot marked with a dark blue background and painted with gold stars, similar to the famous Van Gogh painting that shares its name.

“I just love the beauty and variety plants bring to us,” said Sabah. Tech’s librarians hope to transfer this admiration to students at their Earth Day workshop on April 22.

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