Campus Garden Feeds Local Community
The university's campus garden continues to grow and provide healthy food for the Selinsgrove Senior Center and other local recipients.
Cared for by several paid student workers and dozens of student volunteers, the university's 15,000-squarefoot garden—which has tripled in size over the past two years—has produced hundreds of pounds of fresh produce in recent years. To increase yields, the university has enlarged the size of the garden and raised many of the planting beds.
Rainwater runoff from the adjacent laboratory is used to water the garden. In addition, students make compost by mixing dining hall food scraps with newspaper, cardboard and straw.
All of this work has been led through the David '69 and Sharon Johnson Center for Civic Engagement's (JCCE) AmeriCorps*VISTA program. An additional two raised beds were recently added in time for spring planting.
Beehives Promote Pollination
Two nearby beehives, maintained by the Susquehanna Beekeepers Club, support pollination and the local honeybee population, while a plot of wildflowers anchored at the garden's center gives bees a food source.
The first two colonies of honeybees were installed into the hives in 2016, but sadly did not survive the winter. A local beekeeper who mentors the student club repopulated the hives with honeybees saved from a nearby swarm.
"These hives will increase plant health in the Selinsgrove community and hopefully inspire people to keep more bees themselves," says Josh Levesque '18, an earth and environmental sciences major. "The more bees the better!"
Future plans for the CEER include revitalizing the garden's fruit trees and constructing a walking trail.