Sustainability-Focused Student Organization Invites University Members to New Campus Garden

By Caitlin Burns | September 7, 2016

Deb Gilmore ’19 working in the Waste.EDu garden.

The grassy area behind Murphy Hall became home to Waste.EDu’s herb and vegetable garden this summer. The garden, which features three raised beds and a compost tumbler, was created in June and maintained by Waste.EDu members throughout the summer.

“We talked about our new recycling initiative,” said Deb Gilmore ’19, who founded Waste.EDu through the Honors Program’s Big Idea Competition last year. “I felt it was important to show people how we’re working with nature, and how we’re working together.”

Waste.EDu has invited new students to visit the garden and learn about sustainability efforts on campus. Gilmore hopes that the garden will help first-year students see a tangible result of the organization’s work and encourage them to participate in Waste.EDu. Already, more than 30 students have signed up for Waste.EDu.

“This has been the most rewarding project I’ve been involved in at Arcadia,” said Nicole Gieselman ’19, a Waste.EDu member who helped install the garden. “It’s been incredible to see all our hard work transform the space.”

In its first year, the garden produced herbs, tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, swiss chard, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, mixed peppers, and kohlrabi.

Gilmore intends for the garden to involve the entire Arcadia community in the future, such as by incorporating student-built bird baths and sculptures. Once the garden has expanded, Waste.EDu hopes to sell the produce at the Glenside Farmers Market or run the space as a shared community garden.