Fort Lewis College Environmental Center
The Environmental Center (EC) Campus Garden was founded in 2006 to 1) provide our campus and community with an opportunity to learn about organic gardening techniques while gaining a greater awareness of the environmental implications of food production and 2) increase local food security by generating a food source for underserved populations--which includes our student body!
To achieve these goals, the garden is utilized in a variety of ways. During the growing season, the EC partners with numerous community and student volunteer groups. In exchange for student-taught, bi-weekly gardening workshops, our volunteers support the garden by participating in workdays. Once the school term arrives, these workshops cater to the student population with topics such as Growing in Small Spaces and Window Gardening. Additionally, the EC Campus Garden becomes a living laboratory for a variety of academic courses such as Sustainable Food Systems.
The food grown from the joint efforts of our community and our students is distributed to underserved populations within our community. In addition to donating this produce to our on-campus food bank, the Grub Hub, students at the EC also utilize the food to cook meals for our community shelter
While the EC Campus Garden has been successful in meeting its goals, we are limited by a short growing season, which ultimately does not overlap with our school year. This temporal challenge has the unfortunate effect of largely excluding our primary target audience, our students, from gaining hands-on gardening experience. By building two 5x4’ cold frames, erecting a 13x5’ high tunnel and repairing our existing three-season greenhouse, we would be able to incorporate season extension techniques into the EC Campus Garden, thus 1) providing our student population with hands-on gardening workshops and 2) increasing our ability to grow and distribute produce to underserved populations by two months.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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Kitchen Gardeners International
3 Powderhorn Drive,
Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA