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Garden Health Interest Group Unites All Five Schools

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Author: Charlotte Anthony | Category: Community Outreach | June 17, 2015

Russell Prichard is a garden person. If you sat down and spoke to him, you would notice that he’s constantly making gardening references.

“I can’t help it---I really like gardening a lot,” Prichard said.

Prichard along with his fellow medical school classmates Alice Yang and Henderson Jones started the UT Health Science Center Garden Health Interest Group.

The group is growing rapidly had has united over 30 people within the five schools- School of Dentistry, School of Medicine, School of Health Professions, School of Nursing, and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

“We just have a really good synergy,” Jones explained. “Growing things is something that unites us all.”

So far, the group has created a healing and meditation garden in front of the school. The group hopes to expand and create a vegetable garden in the local San Antonio area.

“2000 years ago medicine was plants—people would crush it in a mortar and pestle,” Jones said. “The garden is half educational but it’s also a great place to just relax--I have an exam tomorrow and I just want a place to rest and think.”

Yang explained that the garden also pairs well with the UT Health Science Center Library’s collection of rare herbal books.

“We really wanted to bring that history and connection back which is why we have chosen plants with a medicinal purposes,” Yang said. “It’s a great way for people to learn about succulents that grow right here in San Antonio.”

Prichard explained that the group has something for everyone—whether it’s the symbolism, activism, or even the community service aspect.

As part of an effort to share responsibility, different people have taken different tasks. Prichard explained that some people are researching the plants, some are writing descriptions for the plaques, and some people are physically planting the garden.

“People really like that this is something they have to work for. We started this seed and we now hope that it will grow with the UTHSCSA community,” Prichard said. “If we don’t take time to work at it, it won’t grow on its own.”

The group would like to give a special thanks to Assistant Vice President for Facilities Raymond Martin and Assistant Director, Grounds and Auto Shop David Brahm for their help. If you would like to join the Garden Health Interest Group, please email

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