The Office of Sustainability begins community garden program
By Mayuri Mei Lin, CG News
Ohio University’s Ecohouse has now expanded its sustainable living lifestyle to include a community garden. The Community Garden Pilot Program is aimed at getting OU community members involved in gardening to show them the benefits, be it growing their own produce, saving money or building knowledge about sustainability.
The community garden started off as a large plot of land managed by the residents of the Ecohouse. The immense workload the residents had to face in maintaining the land was what sparked the idea for the community garden.
“We really want the campus community to get a hands-on experience in sustainable living and I believe that this garden initiative will help us do just that,” said Annie Cadmus, director of the Office of Sustainability in an interview with College Green Magazine, “By sharing their green space with the rest of the campus, the Ecohouse residents instill a sense of connection between the natural environment and OU faculty, staff and students.”
All OU community members are invited to join this program and no experience is necessary. For those who do not know their way around a garden, they can attend a Permaculture workshop sponsored by the Office of Sustainability. “Additionally, we plan on having a garden manager (a student position) that will assist with day-to-day questions or concerns about the space,” said Cadmus.
Those who have expressed interest in being a part of the community garden will develop garden rules. They will also be able to engage in some educational gardening sessions. Cadmus states that the Office of Sustainability needs people who can assist with the maintenance of their plots during the summer months.
The garden is parceled into ten or more plots for others to grow food in chemically-free, environmentally sound ways.
“Faculty staff and students who are interested will be invited to participate in a work day on March9 to break the larger garden into smaller plots,” said Cadmus.
Cadmus said that this unique program on the beautiful and underutilized OU campus that has the potential for building up the Eco house’s presence on campus. “I genuinely hope that transitioning a portion of that space into a campus community garden will offer more visibility to the residents of the Eco house and all the incredible work they do.”
She points out that the overall goal the program is primarily to share sustainable living tips with the rest of the community and thus is a natural fit with the efforts established in the OU Sustainability Plan.
“Overall, I would like to applaud the efforts of our residents and Office of Sustainability Graduate Assistants, especially Mary Leciejewski and Jessica Bilecki, who have worked very hard researching and preparing for this pilot program. I continue to be impressed with the caliber of students at OU – I feel so fortunate to work with such a dedicated group of individuals.”
Anyone interested in learning more or participating in the Community Garden Pilot Program can contact the Office of Sustainability at firstname.lastname@example.org or log on to their website.