Taylor Campus Garden Hosts Open House Wednesday

Published: Aug 12, 2013

The Taylor University Earth and Environmental Sciences department will hold an open house from 11:30 a.m., to 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, at the new Campus Garden, located just east of the Randall Environmental Center.

The Campus Garden is in its first year and has been managed this summer by Master of Environmental Science (MES) graduate student, Armila Francis and two EES students Brian Donovan and Libby Johnson.

The garden was created after a round of grant proposals drafted by students in Dr. Michael Guebert’s Environmental Planning course last spring.

The purposes of the garden are: 1) training student workers in sustainable vegetable growing practices, 2) engaging the Taylor student body in active stewardship through service learning opportunities, and 3) fostering relationships with individuals and groups in the Upland and Grant County community.

The three students have been learning while serving several days each week, along with students from Indiana Wesleyan University, at nearby Victory Acres under the direction of Agriculture Coach and MES student, Leslie Gottschalk.

Besides applying their sustainable gardening practices to raise fresh vegetables in the Taylor garden, the students are also engaging in research and outreach. The students are studying the variable impact on soil health of four fertilizer treatments under the direction of Professor Rob Reber. They have participated in various workshops at Victory Acres and led a garden presentation for children at the Upland Reading Center. The students are also developing a variety of potential labs and service-learning projects to engage Taylor students in courses across campus this year.

As a result, the garden has received external funding for development of service-learning projects from Indiana Campus Compact and for tools and irrigation supplies from the Grant County Community Foundation. Internally, the garden is support by the MES program for garden management, the Center for Research and Innovation for soil health research, and the Grounds Department of Facilities Services for site preparation and care.

Everyone is invited to Wednesday’s open house. Come see the garden, learn about the research, have some garden refreshments, and pick up some free produce.