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Memorial establishes community garden


From left, students Asifa Boodhun, biology; Qi Gong, business administration; and Xueying Ye, business, at the community garden site during Make Midterm Matter.

By Janet Harron

The Memorial University community garden was launched with the help of over 80 student, staff and faculty volunteers at events during Make Midterm Matter and on Kindness Friday last month.

Located between Queen’s College and Long Pond, the garden is the result of a university-wide team effort lead by Dr. Rodolphe Devillers of the geography department, sustainability coordinator Toby Rowe, and Kim Kelly of Career Development and Experiential Learning.

“The garden could not have happened without a collective effort,” said Ms. Kelly.
The garden planning group included staff and faculty from the Harris Centre, Faculty of Arts, Marketing and Communications, Department of Geography, Academic Advising Centre, Career Development and Experiential Learning, Department of Biology, Facilities Management, Office of the Vice-President (Research) and the Glenn Roy Blundon Centre.

Designed for use by all members of the Memorial community (including students, faculty and staff), the garden will operate as a co-op. Plots will be rented on an annual basis and common spaces and infrastructure will be shared. Portions of the garden will be used for teaching and research and potentially even used to grow food for the campus food bank.

“As an island, Newfoundland is one of the most sensitive places in Canada regarding food security as we import almost everything we eat. Memorial has a unique responsibility to contribute to awareness of this issue,” said Dr. Devillers.
Toby Rowe said the garden fits perfectly with Memorial’s Sustainability Declaration.

“Composting, water conservation, and growing food locally all involve sustainability,” she said. “It will provide space for students and others who might not have access to a garden and be a place where people can learn in a fun and supportive atmosphere.”

Those interested in receiving more information about the Memorial community garden can email listserv@mun.ca, leave the subject line blank and type “subscribe community-garden-l” in the body of the e-mail.

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