Kent State Begins Community Gardening Project
Kent State University has established a community garden on the Kent Campus to provide employees, students and community members a plot of land to plant produce of their choice. The shared green space was planned, designed, built and is maintained by community members.
The Kent State community garden is located south of Allerton Drive on the grounds of the closed Allerton Apartment buildings. There are 40 gardeners participating in the project this year, says Melanie Knowles, sustainability manager for Kent State’s Facilities Planning and Operations. The gardeners all agreed that the community garden should be all organic.
Although there are no more spaces available in the community garden for this year, Knowles asks interested gardeners to contact her in case a spot opens.
Gardeners had the choice of three different plots: 5x5, 5x10 or 5x20. The space for each plot is 45 feet wide and 101 feet long with paths in between each plot. The gardeners can grow any plants they desire, but their plants cannot impact the growth of others. Knowles says the gardeners have to be careful if they plant something tall to make sure it is not shading their neighbors.
Gardener and project director for the Department of Psychology Cindy Widuck has a 5x20 plot and is donating all of the food grown to local food banks.
“I like gardening and I like community outreach, so I thought this would be a good way to combine both,” says Widuck.
Widuck says as she talked about the garden, people offered to donate plants, and she wanted to keep the generosity going by donating the plants to the food banks.
The plants Widuck is growing include tomatoes, lettuce, broccoli, onions, kale and basil and more.
“I love fresh produce and especially like the idea of organic gardening,” says Widuck.
Knowles says there has been discussion of a community garden on campus for years, from both the administration and other members of the Kent State community.
“A big part of community gardening is community. So, it’s just another way for people to come together,” Knowles says. “The participants, so far, have been so enthusiastic and supportive even at this early stage.”
For more information about the community garden, contact Knowles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-672-3880.