Students in the University of Southern Mississippi’s Division of Marine Science decided they could use a gathering space. “We sent out a vision board so that students could contribute their vision for this space,” Kristina Mojica, an assistant professor, said. An old outdoor area, filled with trees and vegetation, was fixed up and pressure washed, with faculty, staff and students then building new garden beds, assembling courtyard furniture and helping to move 10,000 pounds of landscape rock.

“It really is a community project,” Mojica said. “It took an unused and forgotten space and turned it into something really beautiful, while bringing together our community.”

“Creating spaces where students can hang out is very valuable and very important,” Luis Altamirano Perez, a Ph.D. student in the Marine Science (Hydrography) program, told USM News. “Many students also used the space to pray during the day.”

Find out more about this campus space project here.