Lion’s tale: A garden grows on campus
The Bonner Center for Civic and Community Engagement’s Demonstration Garden is a 2,000-square-foot plot that bears over two-dozen types of vegetables, herbs, and flowers, many of which have been harvested and delivered to local aid centers.
Year after year, the Bonner Center for Civic and Community Engagement devises fresh and visible ways of linking TCNJ’s students to the greater Trenton public. Its most recent project is the Demonstration Garden, a 2,000-square-foot plot that bears over two-dozen types of vegetables, herbs, and flowers, many of which have been harvested and delivered to local aid centers.
The garden, sited between Lakes Ceva and Sylva, grew out of a cross-campus collaboration that started in spring 2009. Over the past year, the Bonner Center worked with students and professors of gender studies, biology, and engineering, as well as representatives from local nonprofit Isles, Inc., to develop the garden concept, locate arable soil, and design the enclosure.
The first seeds were planted on April 24. Since then, student and staff volunteers have carefully tended to the patch and kept an online log of their activities (http://tcnjserves.pbworks.com). They’ve been mulching, weeding, watering, and planting new produce—onions, tomatoes, carrots, and beets, just to name a few. In June, they cropped lettuce, basil, and parsley for the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, beginning a food-security effort that fanned out as new vegetables took root.
The Demonstration Garden gives students, including freshmen looking to complete their requisite community service, a chance to help those in need in the most essential way. But just as importantly, the garden has become an example of sustainability and a center for environmental education. As one of the campus’ greenest areas, the lakeside garden space serves as a meeting ground for campus-goers and an outdoor classroom for urban students and their college-aged mentors.
Posted on August 19, 2010