Freed-Hardeman is dedicated to using our land in an ecologically responsible manner. The Henderson campus contains protected wetlands restored by the university in 2007. These wetlands are home to the extremely rare giant whorled sunflower, Helianthus verticillatus. Today, it is known to exist in only four locations in West Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia.
FHU is also in the process of becoming a certified arboretum as determined by the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council. Their guidelines define an arboretum as “an area that has a significant amount of woody vegetation in tree form that is cultivated for educational, scientific or aesthetic purposes.” To be certified by the council an area must be open to the public; trees must be protected and maintained as well as properly labeled for educational purposes. Currently, 42 indigenous species have been identified on campus.
These conservation efforts also provide FHU students with valuable academic research and educational opportunities. These opportunities include experience in aquatic microbiology, turtle migratory patterns, and taxonomy.