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Owens' Community Garden Creates New Learning Opportunities

Posted Jul 13th, 2011 by Brad Meyer  Category: Community Interest

 

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, OH – Carrots, lettuce, tomatoes and apples along with many other fruits and vegetables are sprouting up on the Owens Community College Toledo-area Campus as the academic institution expands its experiential learning opportunities through the creation of a new Community Garden.

According to Krista Kiessling, Owens Adjunct Instructor in Social and Behavioral Sciences and Coordinator of the Community Garden, the new Owens Community College Community Garden is designed to create collaborative learning opportunities for students as well as faculty and staff in various academic departments and disciplines.

“The experiential and service learning possibilities for the new Community Garden are endless,” stated Kiessling. “Participants can cultivate interests and educational initiatives that could include therapeutic gardening, organic food production, urban gardening sustainability and community gardening or food production, among many others.”

For Owens student Hannah Jacobs of Luckey, the opportunity to spend some time outside volunteering at the new Community Garden turned out to be a very relaxing experience.

“I really enjoy gardening,” said Jacobs, who also serves as the Owens Environmental Club Vice President and is an Eastwood High School graduate. “The new Community Garden provides a great learning opportunity for the campus community. I’m sort of a green thumb as I enjoy planting flowers around my home.”

Owens’ new experiential learning classroom, which is located south of the College’s Welding Design Center on the Toledo-area Campus, features six four feet by eight feet raised planters for herbs, tomatoes, peppers and specialty crops and two expansive beds that house cucumbers, squash and melons for growing purposes. An apple tree, two high bush blueberries and a compost area are also included within the new Community Garden. The preliminary design was created by the Owens faculty members Chris Foley and Matt Ross within the College’s Landscape and Turfgrass Management Program.

Additionally, the new Community Garden is attended and cultivated by Owens’ students and employees and produce will be utilized by such organizations as the College’s Terrace View Café and AVI Foodsystems.

“Community gardening is growing extremely popular within this region and Owens Community College is excited to play an important role in educating our students as well as the surrounding communities about its many benefits, such as exercise, social interaction, a nutritious food source, hands-on education and resource conservation,” added Kiessling.

For those individuals and/or community organizations interested in participating in the new Community Garden project, call (419) 344-5768.

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Brad Meyer - Owens Community College

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