The vacant lot at 123 McIver is becoming a hotbed of activity. Or approximately 18 raised beds, to be precise.
A campus garden is now under construction.
Dr. Susan Andreatta, co-director of UNCG Gardens, and Sarah Dorsey, a member of the campus sustainability committee, share a delighted hug as the first work on the gardens begins.
The first significant plantings will be in March. Until then, the soil is working, says Dr. Susan Andreatta, co-director of UNC Greensboro Gardens with Guy Sanders. The soil, compost and worms will be active this winter, even on days passersby see little new activity.
What you will see in coming months is a place to house the wheelbarrows and benches used for outdoor classroom learning. And work will begin on a fence to keep ground critters out, says Andreatta.
It's an organic garden, with no use of synthetic chemicals. And the weeding and work will be done by those who sign up to be a part of it.
The UNC Greensboro Gardens group, affiliated with the campus Sustainability Committee, envisions mostly edibles, with a few flowering plants to attract beneficial insects. Perhaps sunflowers in corners, Andreatta says.
Faculty members who were interested in incorporating the garden into their classes next semester sent in applications in early November. Priority for the beds was given to faculty for use with particular classes, which could range from Biology to Religious Studies.
One class has already been hard at work. An Interior Architecture class led by Dr. Anna Marshall-Baker broke into teams this semester to create designs for the layout of the beds, seating for an education area, a storage area for wheelbarrows, an arbor and the fencing. Two additional teams are collecting materials (such as reclaimed barn board) and organizing the fabrication and on-site installation of the beds and furnishings, while other students in the class developed a UNC Greensboro Gardens blog and are generating fundraising and publicity for the project.