Forgotten Garden: COS Botanical Garden Overgrown and in Need of Volunteers

The Botanical Garden, located between John Muir and Hospital Rock, has been showing signs of neglect for a few semesters and needs volunteers to help bring it back to life.


Skyler Singsouvanny

On the COS Visalia Campus a green house is found with moss growing on the floor, weeds growing from every direction and an oppertunity for students unused.

A Botanical garden is described as a place dedicated to the collection, preservation and display of a wide range of plants and life. For students at College of the Sequoias it’s quite the opposite.

Former Dean of Natural science Robert Urtecho, a botanist himself, personally kept up the garden for years. Now he has retired and it seems that the only up keep is the watering of the plants.

Francisco Banuelos, the the new dean of natural science, mathematics and engineering, hopes to bring new life and a change to the current state of the botanical garden.

“We are seeking volunteers to assist with the botanical garden. We have also contacted the COS Grounds and Maintenance Department for assistance, but we prefer volunteers.” said Banuelos.

Dean Banuelos wants students and staff to be more involved with the garden. He says that there is more than enough funding to revive the small greenhouse and garden to what they once were

“The garden does not take too much funding to maintain. Mainly, it is the need for volunteers that appreciate the botanical garden.”

The garden relies heavily on volunteers including students and local non-profit agencies that bring volunteers to assist in the upkeep.

With a college named after the majestic sequoia giants, Dean Banuelos believes maintaining its local plant life is a realistic goal. But only with a little help from all the residents of this school can the garden be restored.

Students who are interested in volunteering can contact the Division office at 559-730-3942 or by email at [email protected].