A new fence being built around the Cal Poly Rose Garden will be dedicated to horticulture professor Dan Lassanske, who died one year ago.
Lassanske’s love for plants earned him the nickname “Heart of the Hort” at Cal Poly, where he devoted his time to teaching and mentoring agriculture teachers and the Future Farmers of America (FFA) organization, according to his obituary. Lassanske was know in the local gardening community for his pruning workshops and knowledge of succulents.
“Dan was the best teacher I ever had,” Lindsay Devaurs, a former student who now teaches agriculture at a high school level, said. “He was passionate about horticulture, but he had a passion for helping his students become better people. I’m forever grateful I had the honor of being his student.”
The 6-foot tall wrought iron fence will have two gates for visitors, according to university groundskeeper Henry Hilgert.
Hilgert was assisted in fundraising for the project by agriculture professors and horticulture alumni.
“Dan took great pride in showing the students the proper way to prune and maintain roses,” Hilgert said.
The Landscape Architecture Department and the carpenter shop will be involved with the installation and maintenance of the project. The garden will be known as “The Dan Lassanske Memorial Rose Garden.”
Other improvements include repairing benches and adding signage to provide the public with the names of the roses. The fencing is expected to be completed by the end of Fall 2019.