Community Garden Social reconnects with student organizations

Reconnect and StandOUT are student organizations that have plots at the commuity garden located behind the Sustainibility Center.  Diana Taj  hosted a Community Garden Social on Feb. 21, followed by a group of the participants going to Quiznos. 
Regina Pergola/The Lion's Roar

Students were invited to join Reconnect and StandOUT for a project to weed the community garden and plant new vegetation. Diana Taj, a freshman biological sciences major, restarted the community garden and greenhouse project and organized the Community Garden Social.

“This project happened two years ago with Stephanie Travis, and she had some money towards this project or her graduate’s program,” said Taj. “So, it started out small and it got to the point it is now, super big.”

Students gathered behind the Sustainability Center on Feb. 21 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. The community garden has a metal frame that has been constructed but is missing side panels and a roof.

“It’s almost going to be done,” said Taj. “I’m just waiting on a grant so panels can go in. StandOUT has a plot and Reconnect has a plot. That’s two organizations right there, plus individuals in the school in general.”

Taj intends for the whole community to use the garden.

“My goal is to contact the lab school after it’s all done and see if the kiddos want to come over for a field trip,” said Taj. “Cause they used to have a community garden and a greenhouse too, but no one took care of it, so they just got rid of all of it. I’m thinking just to get it back. The whole basic reason for this project was to get students involved like this, and to get the community involved. It kind of died down for a little bit, but now it’s coming back up since last semester. I’m only a freshman, so I don’t know what happened in past semesters.”

Her involvement started when she joined a student organization.

“I joined Reconnect,” said Taj. “I came here because I found out there was a greenhouse somewhere at this school, and I was like, ‘Cool.’ I found out it was the Biology Research Plant upstairs in the biology building but that’s just for grad students I think just research so no one can go in there. I saw they do gardening here, so I was like, ‘Whoa that’s nice,’ so I came here.”

Jessica Casanova, a senior sociology major, attended the event to weed the different plots.

“I am the former president of Reconnect, and I was also the former community garden manager,” said Casanova. “I’m kind of invested in this.”

Student organizations were able to connect with each other and plan to return for the benefit of the garden.

“I think it’s really cool that they’re doing this,” said Casanova. “Diana is awesome. I think she’s going to do a really good job with it this semester. It’s also a really great opportunity for Reconnect to interact with another student organization, StandOUT, so that’s really cool. We get to mingle.”

Former and new students interested in garden welfare were abel to tend plots inside an unfinished greenhouse.
Regina Pergola/The Lion's Roar

Richard Raney was a participant who helped weed the community garden.
Regina Pergola/The Lion's Roar

Students will return to plant vegetation in the garden plots at the community garden.
Regina Pergola/The Lion's Roar

From left, Jessica Bell, Samantha Allen, Noah Johnson and Jessica Casanova weeded the community garden
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While weeding the community garden, participants were offered handouts depicting various garden information.
Regina Pergola/The Lion's Roar