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GRIT Garden (Growing Resilience and Inclusivity Together)

Year: 2023

Presenter Name: Ryanne Welch

Community gardens provide space for the community to come together to grow plants, often fruits and vegetables, for the benefit of the individuals in the community. At Utah Valley University we have many areas of our campus community that benefit from the presence of a community garden. Our food pantry was having difficulty consistently providing fresh produce, our botany courses needed to leave campus for some of their classes, and we needed another way to unite with the surrounding community. To meet these needs, UVU's GRIT (Growing Resilience and Inclusivity Together) Garden was born.
The garden was a dream child of committee members on the UVU sustainability committee. With the help of students, community volunteers, and UVU faculty and staff, this dream became a reality. The current garden has a 100 x 24 ft hoop house, four blocks, each containing 12 beds, two pollinator strips, and a handful of raised gardens.
As for our current status in meeting our community's needs, we've donated over 2,000 lbs of produce toward the food pantry including, basil, tomatoes, kale, chard, lettuce, carrots, corn, and many other staples. Several courses have used this space for engaged learning with courses from virology to field botany totaling over 75 students. We've had volunteers from the Botany Club at UVU, the UVU Interfaith Council, students from UCAS, and friends and family of involved students and faculty. Along with weekly volunteer gardening hours.
We've accomplished all of this in less than a year of having a functioning garden, and it's just the beginning. We hope to provide our food pantry with a minimum of 2,000 lbs of produce each year. Continuing community events will likely be expanded. The garden will be a continuing spark of curiosity and source to educate our community.
University / Institution: Utah Valley University
Type: Poster
Format: In Person
Presentation #C26
SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)
Area of Research: Science & Technology
Faculty Mentor: Boston Swan