Urban Nature Area Named After Westminster Biology Professor
October 11, 2019
Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski renamed a portion of Hidden Hollow “Ty’s Garden” in honor of late biology professor emeritus Ty Harrison. Along with Utah Open Lands, Harrison crafted the master plan for Hidden Hollow—a treasure of trees, native plants and animal life along Parley’s Creek in the heart of Sugar House’s shopping and business district.
“This area is an example of how native species can be preserved from development in a growing city,” said Mayor Biskupski. “Ty cared deeply for Utah’s plant and animal communities and showed that protecting them is crucial to honoring Utah’s heritage.”
Harrison walked countless students the two blocks from Westminster’s campus to Hidden Hollow, using the tree groves, wetland and riparian forest as a classroom. He taught about invasive species (there was a lot of weed pulling) and the importance of advocacy. He was a gifted teacher and a brilliant ecologist who influenced thousands of students and worked tirelessly to preserve Utah's wildlands. “I remember how Ty introduced the trees of Utah to me and so many students. Like Dr. Seuss said—he spoke for the trees,” recalled Westminster biology professor Bonnie Baxter. Harrison passed away in 2017 after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. Westminster created the Ty Harrison Environmental Fund to support environmental learning and action among Westminster students.