Arcadia Receives Montgomery County Grant to Grow Community Garden

By Dan DiPrinzio | June 27, 2023
Community Garden behind Spruance Art Center.
The Community Garden will be grown behind Spruance Fine Arts Center

Arcadia University’s Department of Public Health has received a $2,000 grant from the Montgomery County Health Alliance (facilitated by Montgomery County Foundation, Inc., the fiscal Sponsor for the Montgomery County Health Alliance) to support the development of a community garden on campus.

The long-term goal of the garden is to supply fresh produce to Arcadia’s Knights for Nutrition food pantry and the New Life Food Pantry in Glenside. It will be located behind the parking lot at the Benton Spruance Art Center (on top of the old pickleball court). The Facilities team has already installed a small stone walkway for accessibility.

The community garden will also be a place for everyone on campus to gather and socialize. Research shows that community gardens build social capital, help with stress management, and provide nutritious food.

Dené Mitchell, MPH Courses and Student Engagement Coordinator, will support the garden project with the Department along with other Arcadia community members. Mitchell and students will begin building the garden this summer, and plan to have a modest harvest of basic garden vegetables and herbs in the fall. Students from across the University have expressed interest in ongoing support. All students, faculty, and staff who are interested are invited to join the garden team.

Anyone interested in participating can contact Dené at

Arcadia would like to thank the Facilities Department for their ongoing support, for allowing the team to utilize the space for the garden, and for installing a walkway to make the space accessible. We would also like to thank the Montgomery County Health Alliance leadership for supporting this collaborative project and The Montgomery County Foundation, Inc. for funding this project. Many thanks to the Peer Health Advocate student group as well as the Arcadia students, faculty, and staff members who began planning the community garden back in 2020, when it was put on hold due to COVID-19 closures.

About Arcadia’s Department of Public Health

The Department of Public Health provides training in the disciplines of community health education and public health. The department is dedicated to enhancing the health status and quality of life of the public, including individuals and groups who are at the greatest risk for chronic and debilitating health problems and a lower quality of life.

About the Montgomery County Health Alliance

The Montgomery County Health Alliance is an initiative led by the Montgomery County Office of Public Health in which members come together as local public health advocates. Members are dedicated to raise community awareness of health and wellness related issues as well as available resources throughout the region.

About the Montgomery County Foundation, Inc.

The Montgomery County Foundation, Inc.’s mission is to develop, receive, administer and manage, under community control, funds received from public and private sources and distribute them for charitable purposes, primarily to meet local needs.