An idea has taken root, and a new student-organized group—the Beloit Sustainable Garden Initiative—is currently working on seeing it to fruition, possibly as soon as this upcoming growing season.
The group has spent the last several weeks meeting with campus stakeholders, working on compiling a set of goals with regards to establishing a garden on campus. (See the document at right for the list of goals.)
From students to faculty to administrators to staff, “There are so many people interested in seeing it [happen], so we formed this initiative to take charge,” says Kyle Bohrer’14, a member of the BSGI group. A former Sustainability Fellow who was inspired by the urban community garden he saw in Berlin and his study of food systems in Denmark, Bohrer says BSGI is very much in the planning stages as far as a campus garden is concerned, and is eager to receive as much feedback from the community as possible.
“We just want everyone to have input in what this garden will look like,” he says.
So far, the response to the group’s inquiries has been very positive, he adds. As it currently stands, the biggest issues facing a potential garden are determining a location and deciding what will be done with the produce.
“Bon Appetit has said they’d be willing to buy all the produce,” Bohrer explains, but there are other options to explore, such as creating a Community Supported Agriculture program. The group is also actively researching funding sources, with hopes of breaking ground this March or April.
In the meantime, the group hopes to gauge interest with this petition; signers have the option of indicating whether they’re interested in actively working in the garden or just generally in support of a garden on campus. As of last week, nearly 100 people had signed. You can click here to sign the petition.
As the project progresses, you can also receive updates on the BSGI’s Facebook page.