[caption id="attachment_1876" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Photo by Erik Simkins/The AS Review."]Photo by Erik Simkins.[/caption]


If you walked down to the garden that sits behind the Fairhaven complex of dorms, you would not be hard pressed to find hoses, complete with water geysers, buildings that are unroofed or buildings that have sagging roofs, disheveled fencing, invading species plant overgrowth, and a couple of broken wheel barrows.

 However, once you look past that, you may see that it’s also a community, a classroom, an educational center, a philosophy, a way of life. Also you may notice the rows of squash that just four years ago were nothing but heaps of overgrowth from invading species or the new shed that replaced a dilapidated sauna.

 To say the least, the Outback has come such a long way, but stands far from its potential as something great.

 Now, if you are wondering where you could find a fresh grown carrot or two on campus, you would be required to be quite the detective to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  You wouldn’t think 5 acres of rows upon rows could be hidden so easily.  But without a map, it’s never really been much to think about.  Out of sight, out of mind.

 Understandably the spectacle has never officially been charted because the place is nothing but a shambles of an operation.  The overworked coordinators barely get paid and are always overworked.  The surging number of students that applied to work were denied by a bureaucratic technicality.   And the third leg to the stool that continues to hold up this mockery is the neglect from facilities that has thwarted a new plumbing system, solar panels, and the completion of projects which they have been paid for.

 Complications in tow, a sudden surge in strong backs and strong minds calls for a time to act.  It is a time to put forth the effort to assuredly aggrandize the lot that the Outback has been given. With all the environmental acknowledgements that Western has been accredited with, it only makes sense that they would support the local landmark for its aim at sustainability and student/community enrichment. Instead they have willfully eschewed any notion of the Outback’s existence and bulldozed a section this past summer without consent of the coordinator, or anyone affiliated with the Outback.  A few things on the list needed are a new green house, being essential.  The plumbing needs a major overhaul. The fencing needs replacing.  And it needs to be noticed.  Noticed by the faculty, noticed by the student body, and recognized by someone new, as the "Outback" on their school map, as they tour the campus for the first time.  Firsts in many ways, you could say.

 Whether it be the first time I remember arriving or the hundredth time I toil in the muck, I don’t think I could agree more with the quote by Abram L. Urban, which says, "In my garden there is a large place for sentiment.  My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams.  The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful."

 Someone once had a dream for the Outback to be as beautiful as it is today.  And I have a dream of what it will be like tomorrow.  And as hopeful as I am about the thriving projects to come, I would like to start with a map.  A sign of common courtesy and a swelling gesture of pride at what it stands for and who stands by it.

 — Daniel Linnell, Western student