The Environmental Center is to maintain a one-acre garden on east campus with help from a CU Sustainability grant. (CU Independent Illustration/Adam Milner)
The Environmental Center received a $109,000 grant from Sustainable CU and permission to use an acre of land on east campus for a university maintained garden, according to Finance Board minutes.
Amy Telligman, the environmental studies sustainable foods coordinator, said a final approval from the campus administration is still needed before the project can get underway, but the land use has been granted.
Planting of the garden should begin this spring. It will be maintained with the help of the Environmental Center and some students and faculty, according to Telligman.
“Our plan is to have one full time, non-student garden manager,” Telligman said. “We’ll have a lot of opportunity for student involvement.”
Jamie Johnson, a 19-year-old sophomore math and business major, voiced her interest in getting involved in the garden.
“I would be very interested in volunteering at the campus garden,” Johnson said. “It’s a great idea to have students working with sustainable food systems.”
According to Telligman, CU faculty members have expressed interest in incorporating the garden into their classes.
Telligman said the garden may be used to grow salad items, but that plan is not concrete.
“We’re not exactly sure what will be grown yet,” Telligman said. “We’re working with the boulder county extension agent, an advisor for the project. It seems that the land is in a cooler spot, which would allow salad greens to last longer. I think we’ll focus on salad items, which would work well for dining services.”
CU Dining services officials and UMC Catering Services officials have agreed to purchase their produce from the garden at the same price they are paying now, according to Telligman.
Lauren Heising, coordinator of sustainable dining, said CU Dining Services employees are eager to participate in the campus garden.
“We’re very excited about the garden,” Heising said. “I wish the lot was bigger, but this is a great way to get started and see what plants will work.”
The garden won’t be able to meet CU Dining Services’ produce quota, according to Telligman.
“We won’t be able to buy all of our produce from the campus garden, and the first year will be mostly samples, while experiment with planting,” Heising said.
The campus garden has initiated more exciting opportunities that will hopefully take place in the future, according to Telligman.
“Down the line, we’re exploring the option to offer certificates with continuing education and create a campus farmer’s market,” Telligman said.
The Campus garden is not just about selling food to dining services, it’s about teaching the school about sustainable food systems, according to Telligman.
Johnson said the garden will help promote CU as an environmentally friendly institution.
“I think the campus is garden is going to really set CU apart from other competing schools, in terms of green advances,” Johnson said.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Kendall Schoemann at Kendall.email@example.com.
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