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Campus engages in sustainable gardening practices

Brenda Echeverria, Arts & Rec Editor

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Campus Garden Opening Day is scheduled to take place from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. April 20 at the campus garden located between the Bookstore and Health Center.

The event will be a part of Make a Difference Day, a day which celebrates neighbors helping neighbors and is focused on making a positive impact on the community.

“We want to try to raise awareness of the garden and to really share the mission of the garden which is to serve local pantries,” Sustainability Coordinator, Wes Enterline said. “We want to highlight that effort and highlight the need for fresh local produce being brought to food pantries everywhere, because that’s a shortage every food pantry has to deal with.”

Volunteers for the event will have tasks such as winter cleanup along with bed and row preparations by spreading compost and wood chips.

Students are encouraged to bring clothes suitable for digging and the outdoors.  

In past years, the project has seen some success from having a small group of volunteers.

“ We usually get about 10 people, and for us at a volunteer event in the garden it’s a lot. So usually we get a lot of work done in a short amount of time, so it has been pretty successful,” Enterline said. “Typically, my goal is to have volunteers actually plant something and then that’s the inaugural planting for the new season.”

However, this year the planting may depend on the weather.

“Volunteering events are half work days and half educational days,” Enterline said. “We want everyone to have fun and ask questions about gardening.”

Jonathan Roberts, a junior at UW-Whitewater and now also sustainability assistant, first got involved with the Sustainability Office as a sophomore.

“I heard there was gardening volunteer session, so I went the first time and just fell in love,” Roberts said. “I just started volunteering all the time that led me to getting more involved with not only the Sustainability Office but also the community in general.”

One thing Roberts said he loves about the campus garden is that it is so community based.

He enjoys knowing that the produce from the garden gets donated and that there is involvement also with the city market downtown.

“Getting involved with this project has changed my life in so many ways, but I think the number one thing has been building community with people. Whitewater can be kind of segregated between the community and the university. So this has been a really good way to bridge that gap” Roberts said.

To participate students are able to register online through the UW-W Connect portal. Spots for the event are limited.

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Campus engages in sustainable gardening practices