Southeastern students plant community garden on campus

Monday, April 20, 2015 Community garden
by: Rene Abadie

HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW – Southeastern Louisiana University Student Government Association President Stephanie Travis and other volunteer students tend to garden plots on campus that are being maintained by various campus organizations.

HAMMOND - In a clearing behind Southeastern Louisiana University's Sustainability Center, several raised gardens are starting to show signs of growth.

The community gardens are the result of hard work by students in various campus organizations who have adopted plots they will nurture over the next several months.

Student Government Association President Stephanie M. Travis of Kentwood explained the community garden is the brainchild of students who expressed a desire to have a place near campus where they could grow fresh food.

"I was serving as the campus beautification liaison in the SGA Cabinet when several students asked about this," said Travis. "The SGA conducted an informal survey to gauge student interest in an on-campus garden, and we received an overwhelmingly positive response to the idea."

Physical Plant Director Byron Patterson and Landscape and Recycling Manager Carlos Doolittle had just the place – an empty stretch of land in the Sustainability Center located on North Oak Street, which previously served as the university's Horticulture Center. Using concrete, they prepared the raised beds for the students' use.

"Several student organizations have adopted plots that they are responsible for maintaining," Travis explained. 'Some are planning to use the vegetables for personal consumption and others intend to donate what they grow."

The garden is the second dedicated effort at Southeastern intended to provide nourishment for students who may struggle with what is called food insecurity. In fall 2013, the university opened its own on-campus food pantry to address this issue that affects some college students nationwide.

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