Fountain destroyed at University Gardens, likely will cost at least $2,628 to replace


A fountain at the K-State University Gardens was vandalized last weekend.

Campus police were unavailable for comment, but workers at the gardens said they believe the vandalism took place between Saturday night and Monday morning.

Thomas D. Warner, head of the Department of Horticulture, Forestry and Recreation Services, said he thought the fountain was pushed over, as it was completely shattered.

He said the vandalism will delay the expansion of the gardens, because money now must be raised to replace the fountain.

“It was purchased with money donated by the Riley County Master Gardeners, and replacing it will cost extra money that we will have to raise first,” he said.

Scott McElwain, research assistant for the department of horticulture, said University Gardens is expanding the wall project, and once completed, the funding will be exhausted.

“Without including labor and supplies the fountain will cost $2,628 to replace – we may need to look at an alternative garden fixture that is less likely to be vandalized,” he said.

According to the University Gardens Web site, the gardens were established in 1877, and at their peak, housed more than 4,000 specimens representing 700 species of woody plants.

With the expansion of campus, the gardens had to be moved to the current spot, 1500 Denison Ave.

Today, University Gardens is a horticulture display garden established as an educational resource and learning laboratory for K-State students and the visiting public.

University Gardens is not just used for educational purposes, though.

Several students also use the gardens as the location of their weddings, as well as other special events such as receptions, according to the site.

McElwain said he would like students to keep a watchful eye on the gardens to help protect what they are trying to build for everyone to enjoy.

“Campus thrives 24/7 with student activity, and I think that we have a wonderful student body that takes pride in being at K-State,” McElwain said. “I feel it’s important here to make sure that they are aware that things like this are happening on their campus.

“The KSU Gardens are free and open to the public and have been designed for everyone to enjoy.”