Garden of Five Lions

Garden of Five Lions: A spot to reflect -- or hunt

October 5, 2020


Students spend time in Weinstein Hall for political science or journalism classes, but there’s another space tucked away right outside the building’s entrance for those who want a quiet sanctuary. The Garden of Five Lions was created when the building opened in 2003 and provides a place for studying — as well as a scavenger hunt.

“John Hoogakker (formerly with University Facilities) selected five different lions to be somewhat hidden in the garden so that it would be kind of a scavenger hunt to find them,” said Andrew McBride, UR’s architect and the associate vice president for facilities.

The University is planning to transition the Garden of Five Lions and four others across campus into meditation spaces over the next few years, said Allison Moyer, UR’s horticulturist and the associate director of landscape services.

“We are trying to create spaces that are quiet for people to actually sit down and take the time to reflect and meditate,” Moyer said.

The garden at the new Well-Being Center will be the trailhead with a map outlining the other meditation spaces across campus. Those will include the Sarah Brunet Hall patio, Westhampton Deanery, and the Shepherd Memorial Garden behind Keller Hall. The garden landscapes are not changing, Moyer said, but rather each one will have similar elements that relate to senses like touch and sound.

“We’re really excited about it because we don’t want to change the landscapes and make them cookie-cutter,” she said. “We want them to have their own personality but have certain aspects that make it look like they’re related.”