Cornell University students looking for a break from the winter weather and the pressure of finals can still get a hint of warmer weather, thanks to a temporary grass installation in several buildings on campus. Potted plants and comfortable chairs are placed around the grass, encouraging students to lounge there during one of the most stressful times of the academic year.
“Being in touch with nature helps people be calmer, and they feel refreshed and productive,” Eveline Ferretti, the library’s public programs and communications administrator, said. “The library is the perfect place for it.”
Marcia Eames-Sheavly, a senior extension associate at Cornell and director of the Garden-Based Learning program, said she understands the sod’s calming lure.
“Sod furniture is thrilling, since, unlike other horticultural art, which may require a long period of time to come to life, it offers instant gratification. Students have responded to the joy of working hard and collaboratively, shoulder to shoulder, to plan and implement them, and then, to enjoy the seating, and witness others doing the same,” Eames-Sheavly said. “We know from research that time spent in nature fosters diverse facets of our well-being, from cognitive function, to lower stress levels. They are easy to create, and do not require elaborate materials.”
Do you see the value in temporary greenery, or should Cornell consider a more permanent indoor garden? Share your opinion in the comments.