Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Proposed Garden Location

What do you think of this location?

Sustainability, health and environmental protection have been some of the most important topics in our country and in the world today. The White House recently started a garden on its own lawn, sending a message to the American public about the value of fresh, organic and locally grown produce. Michelle Obama acknowledged that one of the primary goals of the presidential garden is to educate America’s youth about the importance of healthy food. In urban centers, there is a growing green movement of building and cultivating community gardens. More recently, our neighboring cities such as Seattle and Portland have started urban harvesting programs that organize volunteers to harvest and maintain neighborhood fruit trees, donating the resulting bounty to soup kitchens and food banks.

Schools and universities are also recognizing the educational potential of gardens. This year, University of Washington, Tacoma started a garden on their urban campus. The Evergreen State College has long had an organic garden that is operated by students. Yale University students started a farm in 2003. These are just a few examples of schools harnessing the power of gardens to teach, create community and to contribute to positive social change.

Saint Martin’s University is a perfect setting for an educational garden. We are situated in a beautiful oasis of green, with plenty of sunny patches to nourish vegetables, herbs and flowers. A number of SMU faculty have expressed interest in having a campus garden and in using it in their teaching. The garden is also an excellent fit with the Benedictine philosophy of environmental stewardship, community and labor. And for students, imagine walking from your dorm to the garden to pick dome fresh strawberries for breakfast.

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