With three construction projects underway, the next important project for CSUB is the University Garden which is opening in the spring of next year and will be clearing the ground in the winter. The Presidents Sustainability Committee will be placing a University Garden next to the Student Recreation Center for faculty, staff and students. The goal of the University Garden is to place a fruit and vegetable garden that will be operated by the university community.
The Presidents Sustainability Committee was formed in 2007 as a result of President Mitchell signing a letter stating that the university will commit to becoming carbon neutral.
According to Aaron Hegde, the co-chair of the President’s Committee on Sustainability and coordinator of the Agricultural Business Program, Hegde states that the objective is to make the campus more green and more sustainable in its practices.
The campus will also add a food pantry in collaboration with the University Garden. The goal for the Food Pantry on campus is to have it prepared during the winter quarter.
“A survey conducted during the spring quarter found that approximately 40 percent of our campus community identified itself as being food insecure, which is defined as not being able to afford food more than a few times,” Hegde said.
Savannah Andrews, 20, psychology major, is the Vice President of Programming for ASI. Andrews is on the Students Sustainability Committee that is helping create the University Garden.
Andrews believes CSUB students will benefit greatly from having the University Garden.
“Students do want healthier options while eating, which make this perfect for our students. The students who are interested in agriculture will greatly benefit from this garden as well,” Andrews says.
The Sustainability Committee is forming events that contain the University Garden. The first dig in is planned in April for the Celebrate CSUB event.
Evelyn Young, Executive Assistant to the President, is also taking part of the University Garden. Young is the daughter of a farmer, so this project hits close to home with her.
“It’s beyond just planting and harvesting. It’s about creating a culture about people who care about each other and who care enough to meet each other’s needs by having a community collaboration” Young says.
Young states that it makes sense that CSUB will be adding a University Garden to the school because CSUB is located in an agriculture town.
One of the programs that will be offered as part of the University Garden is sustainable agriculture training. Students will have the opportunity to take as a class, take it as a credit, or volunteer.
The purpose of the University Garden is to not just meet student’s academic needs, but to make their school experience fuller and richer.
Adding a University Garden on campus will show that CSUB not only cares about student’s academics but their health as well. “We are a University and we are expecting students to perform at their optimal level, so it’s difficult to do that when you are hungry or you don’t know where your next meal is coming from or you don’t know how you are going to feed your children as you are trying to further your education,” Young says.