A garden strengthens community connections


Zachary Araki

The community came together at the Sustainability Center to clean up the garden.

Zachary Araki, A&E Editor

The community gathered at the Sustainability Center to clean up the community garden and connect with each other.

Jacob O’Neill, a senior sociology major, has seen the garden grow over time in his years as a member of Reconnect. He hopes to see more work like the “Community Gardening Day.”

“I was here when these plots were first being started some years ago, so it’s really nice to work with each other, but also that we’re trying to do more than what we have here now,” said O’Neill. “I’m working for the current status of these plots but also for the future that we can have more things like this to connect our students with the environment and with each other.”

O’Neill discussed the event’s impact on the community.

“It allows us to see the community in real time, allows us to see each other, who actually is willing to care about this,” said O’Neill. “We’re able to look each other in the face instead of working with some abstract notion or idea about what this is. When we all get together, we see ourselves, and people who are like-minded, and it makes us feel better, strengthens how we feel.”

Megan Sanders, a senior art major, decided to join in the cleanup after she began working with the Sustainability Center for graphic design.

Sanders said, “I met a lot of people who are from all different majors who are just interested in sustainability and helping the environment and just connecting with people, and I think that’s really the most important thing. When you’re really sweaty next to a person pulling weeds, you kind of have to talk to them, get to know them.”

Student Government Association Chief Justice Alberto Valenzuela, a junior biological sciences major, discussed the success he saw at the community garden.

“We had a really good turnout,” said Valenzuela. “We came through and fixed this whole garden up in a matter of an hour. It looks so much better than it did when I first got here.”