COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Texas A&M University broke ground on the new 40 acre outdoor garden on Friday.

Phase one construction for the new hands-on learning will begin at the Gardens.

University leaders say that the Gardens will be a place for inspiration, protect the environment, improve health and provide an enriching education for students.

"This is the vision, to create a beautiful outdoor laboratory, an outdoor classroom, something unique that this university does not have and many others do," said Doug Welsh, Program Coordinator for the Gardens.

Construction is expected to be completed by 2018 and it will be open to visitors.