SAP celebrates 10 years with dedication of garden
Campus community members celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the Sustainable Agriculture Project (SAP) October 2 with a dedication ceremony for a new garden on the Allendale Campus.
The Demonstration Garden, located next to Au Sable Hall, is an extension of SAP, a farming and learning space located south of campus on Luce Street. It began in 2008 as a student-initiated community garden.
"This all began 10 years ago when a group of students and Kelly Parker (professor of philosophy) had a vision for a garden," said Anne Hiskes, dean of the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies. "It has turned into a high-impact learning environment that demonstrates the university's dedication to sustainable education."
Hiskes said last year SAP included 24 interns from 12 disciplines, volunteers spent 712 hours on the farm, and 12 classes used the space as a learning-living laboratory.
During the ceremony, President Thomas J. Haas said the new garden is a great example of student input. "When we first started talking about a farming space, we worked closely with students. That's what it's all about — it's important that we listen to students and understand what they want to experience at Grand Valley."
The Sustainable Agriculture Project, housed in the Office of Sustainability Practices, has grown to include two hoop houses, a greenhouse and four acres of land, and offers community-shared agriculture and community garden programs. The project serves as a platform for experiential education on food systems and environmental science.
The 15-by-15-foot demonstration garden includes raised garden beds, which mimic the size of a typical, homemade garden. It's maintained by student volunteers and SAP interns.
For more information about the Sustainable Agriculture Project, visit www.gvsu.edu/sustainableagproject.