HEART OF UTAH

Heart of Utah: Students plan and plant healing grove in Lehi

May 28, 2021, 7:09 AM | Updated: 10:19 am

LEHI, Utah — High school students are helping create and grow a new healing grove in Utah County. They hope it can be a place for people dealing with anxiety or stress to find peace through nature.

The shady and secluded spot is found by winding through the trails at Thanksgiving Point, reaching near the waterfalls at Ashton Gardens.

Peace at the plant healing grove 

On a recent Wednesday, marketing students and football team members from American Fork High School all had shovels in hand to plant new trees and lay down mulch.

“This is a special day, because it’s the first day we are getting things ready,” said Lily Miller, a junior who is the president of DECA, the marketing club at AFHS.

Miller said they had been working on the idea for several years. They dug holes to place the trees and shrubs to eventually help build a beautiful and private spot. 

The main inspiration for the project: a natural place for people to feel peace.

“Whenever you are feeling anxious, often nature is what really connects you back to feeling calm,” said senior Will Matheson. “We wanted to make this a people could have a place to go, to reset, to charge their batteries.”

Their teacher is Mr. Calvin Barnum, but Matheson says he left the project up to them.

“It’s easy to say, that’s wrong or that’s wrong, but he’s let us make our own mistakes. He has let us grow as we do this project. We have felt an ownership and a connection to this place,” said Matheson.

 

Dazzled by American Fork students 

The horticulture coordinator for Thanksgiving Point Ashton Gardens, Sarah Allred, was impressed and grateful for the AFHS students.

“It’s been amazing. We’ve been working on this for over a couple of years, and today they are just working so fast. Our smaller crews would take more time. These football guys got a lot done in 30 minutes,” she said.

Allred helped teach them about how to plant trees properly, like digging a wide enough circle, taking care of the roots, and watering. She heard the students helping one another out during the process, and believes they will take that knowledge home as well.

The day of actually planting was just part one of a three-phase project. Eventually, the healing grove will have more plants, pathways, benches, and a community circle for families or groups to use.

Allred says the future of the project depends on fundraising. They had a generous contribution from 97th Floor, a marketing firm in Lehi, and are seeking grants and other money to continue to add to the grove.

The community can donate through Thanksgiving Point as well here.

“We want it to be private,” said Allred. “There are some beautiful spaces here, but with a lot of people around. So this will have trees and shrubs and you can hear the waterfall, and have quiet.”

Matheson said it was a great spot. “It’s a quiet area, you can hear the waterfalls, which adds to the calming, and helping people feel like they are in nature,” he said.

Miller says the students’ goal was to help the community, and give back to the community.

“This is a great opportunity and be a part of our future and everyone else as well,” she said.

Related: The entire collection of Heart of Utah stories 

 

Heart of Utah

refugees Ukraine...
Mark Jackson

Brigham City man uses time between work gigs to help refugees in Ukraine

His family says Solomon Smith is uniquely trained to bring supplies to refugees in Ukraine, after having worked in the Peace Corp in Africa.
3 months ago
Spencer Truman st george wwii veteran...
Simone Seikaly

St. George WWII veteran celebrates 100th birthday on Valentine’s Day

Spencer Truman was trained to enter combat in gliders, and fought in Operations Overlord and Market Garden, and the Battle of the Bulge.
5 months ago
afghan community fund helps refugees arriving in utah - small boy holds drawing...
Becky Bruce

Update: Afghan Community Fund raises more than a million for Utah refugees

The Afghan Community Fund collected more than $1.1 million since mid-October, though Gov. Spencer Cox acknowledged an unprecedented level of need.
6 months ago
Sarah Pugliese...
Curt Gresseth

Pandemic can’t stop Topaz Fairy on her mission to spread joy

As a special friend to abused and traumatized children across the country, the Topaz Fairy -- who is also a graduate student at the University of Utah -- was determined not to be derailed in her mission of joy by the pandemic.
8 months ago
...
Amber Gentry

Volunteers of America has resources for homeless youth

SALT LAKE CITY — Thousands of Utah’s homeless youth are not only facing hunger, but are experiencing homelessness. Volunteers of America is a program that aims to promote and spread awareness for the more vulnerable people in our community.   As a part of Utah Gives Back presented by Select Health, The Director of Youth […]
8 months ago
Photo of participants in  a past Youth Futures SleepOut event. Photo Credit: Youth Futures Utah...
Eliza Craig

Overnight on the asphalt (or under the stars?) – raising awareness for Utah’s homeless youth

At any one point in time in 2021, 3,565 individuals in the state of Utah were unhoused. Only 2,410 of the unhoused population were in shelters.
8 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Prescription opioid...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
...

Tax Tuesday: Key Information Before the Filing Deadline

Businesses can receive a credit of up to $5,000 per employee in 2020 and up to $21,000 per employee in 2021.
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Heart of Utah: Students plan and plant healing grove in Lehi