Three HWS students are researching the viability of a community garden for Geneva as part of their coursework for “Teaching for Environmental Sustainability,” taught by Paul Kehle, assistant professor of education. According to Mike Ellis ’10, one of the students working on the project, a community garden is where a group of local citizens can grow and harvest crops on community-owned land, maintaining individual and shared plots, often paying a small membership fee and volunteering some of their time for the group or community’s benefit.
Ellis says the project was conceived when Mayor Stu Einstein and other city officials expressed interest in determining if Geneva residents would be interested in such a garden. The group is holding a public meeting at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 4, to see how many community members express interest in the garden, share ideas based on the group’s research of existing community gardens, and hear local perspectives, insights, suggestions and questions.
“We want the community members to be the ones to shape this garden,” says Ellis, a biology and environmental studies major. “Our group’s role is to gauge the Geneva community’s interest in a community garden and to come up with some ideas of how we will define a potential garden for the city officials.”
Those who participate will benefit from fresh produce that they grow and, by combining their efforts to care for the garden, they can form a stronger connection to the community and environment.
The meeting will be held in the Community Room of the Geneva Public Library. All who are interested in learning more are welcome to attend.
Jenny Zhao ’09, an environmental studies major and studio art minor, and Gillian Meade ’11, a biology and environmental studies major and education minor, are conducting the research with Ellis.