What’s a Rock Garden?

Our student writer, Anna, explores a favorite spot on campus…

Hello! What is a rock garden? Do you know? This was a question I asked myself multiple times when my older brother was at UMBC, and I was still in high school. I’d hear him mention this alleged place on campus and think to myself, “wha–?”

Guess what? It’s literally an area of grass with large rocks. That’s it. Or, at least that’s what I always see. That’s what I saw when I went there this weekend to check it out (and to take a selfie for my profile pic!). But that’s not ‘just it’. The area is officially known as the Joseph Bueys Sculpture Park.  Mr. Bueys was a German artist whose work and advocacy for environmental spaces inspired the seeding of the trees today found in the rock garden, as well as the placement of the stones. This background however, is not widely known around campus.

I also learned that most students don’t really talk about the rock garden as much as I, for some reason, thought they would. It is somewhere on campus that people will sometimes use as a geographical marker, though. In fact, this was my first visit to the garden as a student!  

The most notable part of UMBC’s rock garden is the journal. Usually, there is a journal and pencil that are kept underneath the bench in the garden, and enclosed in a special little slot. (Unfortunately, it wasn’t there yesterday…but I assume that as the weather gets nicer and more people are outside, a notebook may very well appear.) The idea is that students can go to the rock garden to relax and to think. Reflect. Write something grandiose down in the journal for posterity…or to be slightly more realistic, something funny and random, or just something.

So when you check out our campus, make sure to stop by the rock garden and bask in the knowledge that yes, we have a “garden” made up of…rocks. (But really, it is very calming there.)

— Anna Crow ’16

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