UNTHSC Community Garden

What is a Community Garden?

According to the American Community Garden Association, a community garden is “any piece of land gardened by a group of people” (ACGA link).  They vary in scope, location, and what they grow.  For example a community garden can:

  • Be located just about anywhere (urban, rural, suburban)
  • Grow a variety of vegetation (vegetables, flowers, herbs, etc.)
  • Be individual or communal plots
  • Be owned and operated by all types of organizations such as schools, universities, neighborhoods, hospitals and churches

Learn about the UNTHSC Community Garden and see the brochure here!

Benefits of a Community Garden?

Community gardens have numerous benefits depending on the goal and scope of each garden.  Benefits include:

  • Promoting health and wellness
  • Providing a sense of community
  • Educating people about food production and nutrition
  • Serving the community through food donation
  • Beautifying spaces and reducing the heat island effect (occurs in built environments where the temperature is higher than in rural surroundings)

History of the UNTHSC Community Garden

The UNTHSC Sustainability Committee founded a subcommittee in 2012 to begin and manage a community garden here on campus at the request of many people here on campus.  The subcommittee distributed a survey to the campus in April 2013 which showed strong support for the garden.  Guidelines were created, and the garden received funds from the Sustainability Committee and donations from various organizations including:

The garden was built in February 2014 when over 40 volunteers came to the site to build the plots, fill them with soil, and mulch the paths.  The garden started with 16 (4’x12′) plots but we have since expanded to a total of 35 plots.  The plots are maintained by students, staff and faculty, and each plot is required to donate at least 25% of their yield to a local food bank. Since 2014, we have donated 511 lbs. of fresh, organic produce to those in need!

The garden includes many sustainable features such as rain barrels, upcycled picnic tables (from old pallets), native landscaping, and compost bins.  Since 2015, approximately 4,440 lbs. of food waste has been diverted from the landfill!  The food waste is collected from the neighboring restaurant, Stain-Emilion Restaurant, 5 days a week by a dedicated group of volunteers.  Learn more about all our accomplishments in our annual reports:

Contact Us

Questions? Please contact Sandy Bauman, UNTHSC’s Sustainability Coordinator, or Betsy Friauf, our volunteer Garden Coordinator.

This page was last modified on March 16, 2017