Students plant garden to support LGBTQ community


Dan Elson

About 30 students plant native Maryland plants located in the side of the Careers Center.

Dan Elson, Editor-in-Chief

AACC students this month planted a garden on the side of the Careers Center to show support for the LGBTQ community.

About 30 students planted native Maryland plants, like huckleberries and a redbud tree, after removing English ivy that grows wild on the site. 

The project started April 15 and ended on Friday, which was Earth Day. The Gay-Straight Alliance, the Super Science Club and the Biology Department collaborated to plant the garden, named the Pollinator Pride Garden,

“We wanted to have a beautiful symbol when people walk by this garden,” biology professor Susan Lamont, who organized the project, said. “We want them to know that we support our LGBTQ community.”

Lamont said she takes pride in the beauty of the campus.

Second-year meteorology student Bryant Pepe said the goal is to naturalize the land.

“Before we got our hands on it [and] before professor Lamont got our hands on it, this looked like a junkyard,” Pepe said. “There’s a lot of invasive species that need to be removed. And before we had finished, there’s just a bunch of trash back here, a bunch of just disorganization. So what we’re doing is returning it to its natural state.”

Second-year studio art student Sam Merrill said planting is a great workout.

“I’ve been volunteering for the past week,” Merrill said. “And it’s come really far. I mean, last Thursday, we started pulling out plants and now it’s here and it’s a great sense of accomplishment.”

Merrill also said, “It’s nice to just help out the campus and encourage biodiversity.”

GSA’s faculty adviser Forest Caskey agreed that planting is good exercise.

“It’s been so much fun,” Caskey noted. “Yesterday I was a tad bit sore from shoveling.”

Caskey said events like the pride garden bring the community together.

In fact the chairman of an Annapolis LGBTQ organization stopped by on the last day of planting.

“It shows that there’s a lot of intersectionality that’s going on,” Joe Toolan, whose organization, Annapolis Pride, advocates for the local LGBTQ community, said. “So you know, people that care about the environment, also people that care about the LGBTQ+  issues, it’s really important to kind of merge them where possible. And so it’s really cool to have this event happening on Earth Day.”