Community garden now located off Alder Street

Kejuan Coleman, Staff Reporter

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Originally devised to start in the in February 2013, CWU’s community garden was located in the Wahle Complex, directly across the street from the North end of Tomlinson stadium. The garden has now been relocated to the east side of campus near Alder street.

Public Health Associate Professor Dr. Rebecca Pearson, who made the initiative to start the garden, said the university was really wanting this to happen and they were very supportive in finding its home at Wahle.

Pearson said that the facility was a great place to start. It was an old, fenced playground covered in pea gravel. CWU faculty helped take away all the gravel, and installed spigots all around the garden.

“At first, none of really knew what we were doing, we just threw seeds in the ground,” Pearson said. “Little by little, there started to be a turnout from a wide variety of students.”

The community garden had five successful seasons from 2013 to the fall of 2017. However, CWU informed Pearson the garden would need to be moved due to the athletic commons currently under construction.

“Nobody wanted to lose the garden, but we weren’t sure of where it could go,” Pearson said.

CWU was able to narrow it down and find a location, now located on the north-east end of campus on Alder Street in the vacant fields just south of the Challenge Course. After moving locations in the spring of 2018, the community garden has been rebuilding with the help of CWU faculty, students and community members.

“We have volunteers, community members who have checked out a bed this season,” Pearson said. “We have students that just want to come out and help for volunteer hours.”

The vision of the CWU campus garden is to create and establish a sustainable space integrated into the campus life. The main goals for the garden are to encourage everyone to feel welcomed and to participate within the community.

Dave Sturgell, a community volunteer member, said it’s not just the CWU community garden, but other partners and organizations that are all united in one goal; trying to grow some of our own food locally.

“This may be one of the first years that we try to extend our growing season through the use of cold frames and miniature greenhouses,” Sturgell said.

Global mindset major and community volunteer Anna Gvasalia enjoys the garden.

“I love nature and it’s a great time to spend your free time,” Gvasalia said.

The CWU campus community garden is funded by about $12,000 a year through Student Services and Activities because Pearson was able to offer the garden as a class for CWU students in 2017. It is now offered as a 2-credit course titled community food strategies.

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Community garden now located off Alder Street