Groundhogs Raid Vickery House Gardens

Groundhogs Raid Vickery House Gardens

Ever since the gardens at the University of North Georgia’s Vickery House was built, groundhogs have been sneaking in and making off with as many vegetables as they want. Groundhogs haven’t had much trouble infiltrating as the only thing in their way is a rotting old fence.

Photo by Seth Brand

The gardens taken care of by Hometown Harvest provide food and vegetables for the UNG students and the Vickery House food pantry. Associate professor from the Health and Natural Sciences department and head of Hometown Harvest, David Patterson, manages the gardens. Patterson has been using groundhog traps to trap and relocate these bandits, but his efforts have not permanently solved this issue.

At a dead end, Patterson put the Society of Engineering Students in charge of brainstorming and creating a solution after meeting with them. Patterson was not able to schedule an interview by the time of publication.

Vice president of the SES, Mary Helvie, says, “The groundhogs aren’t being relocated far enough, and they’re pretty much multiplying faster than they can be moved.” A common area to move the groundhogs is by the UNG sign at the front of the campus, which is about a mile from the gardens. “My friends and I have definitely seen one or two groundhogs chilling at the intersection by Dunkin when going out, but they only show when the sun is about to go down,” Helvie says.

Over the next few months, the SES will continue to record the effects of multiple possible solutions, while also looking into where the groundhogs are coming from. “We plan on having the entire project finished by 2023,” Helvie says.


Written by Seth Brand