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Little Sprout

Emily Cazarez
Emily Rubio Cazarez
Faculty Advisor(s)

Students on college campuses across the United States are experiencing mental health concerns due to heightened levels of stress, depression, and anxiety, and although many options have been introduced as possible solutions, one that has yet to be discussed is the use of nature. Exposure to natural elements has been proven to benefit people of all ages and professions, so why do many campuses across the country lack natural spaces? To provide a solution to this problem I plan to develop a brand called Little Sprout that aims to bring awareness and healing for mental health issues through the building of gardens and greenhouses on college campuses. Aside from aiding in mental health the program I will develop would also bring other attributes to the college campuses. For example, the green spaces on campuses would also be selling points for college recruiters as well and act as community-building areas where students from all college departments and disciplines can come together.

In short, this project is the pursuit of community-based healing that involves all academic departments of the colleges that participate. Examples of the possibilities include the creation of a new horticulture academic program, science programs using the greenhouse for experiments, and the art department creating sculpture installations around the greenhouse. Aside from the academic involvement the dining halls of participating colleges could also benefit by using some of the food grown in the greenhouse.


Emily Cazarez is a senior at Salem College who is majoring in Design (concentration in Graphic Design). She is from Dobson, NC, and previously studied at Surry Community College where she obtained her Associate in Arts degree. This project is a culmination of her passion for design, mental health awareness, and plants.