The Community Gardens of the DMV blog series is profiling community gardens across the DC-MD-VA region. If you have a community garden you would like profiled, please leave a comment below and let us know how to reach you.
Community Gardens of the DMV: The Garden at UMBC
By Johnny Moseman
Sitting within the University of Maryland’s Baltimore County campus, right next to the police station, is the school’s very own community garden. Started in 2014 by some faculty and students at the university, The garden gives students, or anyone who wishes to grow their own plants, access to raised beds with fertile soil to grow in.
The garden was sparked by students who saw the land on campus and thought they could use the space to make a difference and grow some food.
They started creating “The Garden” over a two year period by developing a proposal and gaining the approval and support needed. In Spring of 2014, the student body voted on the SGA Prove-It grant funding for a campus improvement project — 70 percent voted for a community garden on campus. The raised beds were then built by student volunteers, along with a broad network of staff, faculty advisers, and mentors.
“The Garden is a social action and service organization dedicated to helping reimagine the role of higher education in addressing problems of the world through the creation and engagement of our food garden that enables creativity in research, applied learning, campus-community partnerships, social equity, diversity, and food sovereignty,” according to their Facebook page.
Along with raised beds on the site, there is a shed with basic tools for use by anyone within the garden.
The garden is run by a student group, Sustainability Matters, and has support and oversight from a bunch of different organizations on campus from Facilities Management to Student Life.
This community garden is managed and plots are allocated by this student group to other campus groups. The garden also provides an orientation for these groups to learn how to grow in their section of the raised beds.
The groups can then choose what to grow and do with the food they grow in their plot. The garden also provides a shared compost pile, fun events, and regular community work days.
Photos courtesy of the garden’s Instragram account: @umbc_thegarden.
About the Author: Johnny Moseman is a senior multi-platform journalism major at the University of Maryland from Columbia, MD. He is an editorial intern at Washington Gardener this spring semester.