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Wanted: Volunteers for North Central’s community garden project

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Students, faculty and staff are invited to participate as volunteers in a small-scale, environmentally conscious agriculture pilot project on campus this spring. Volunteers will help build a compost system and plant and maintain an urban and organic garden plot of specialty vegetables and herbs that will be featured in the Kaufman Dining Hall menu and salad bar. This project demonstrates the College’s sustainability priorities and commitment and utilizes environmentally responsible and low-impact gardening methods through pest control, compost application, soil replenishment and rainwater collection. The site for the pilot project is the vacant lot between the 109 and 119 S. Loomis Street houses and will consist of eight plots, each 20 ft. by 5 ft., and one compost system. The ground will be tilled by the maintenance department in April and volunteers will be able to help plant seedlings in mid-May. Abby Hahne, sustainability coordinator, says many members of the campus community have mentioned they wanted to be involved in a project like this. “This project not only gives people a chance to work the land and learn about organic gardening, but it supports efforts by our dining hall, which has wanted to provide specialty, healthy produce in its menu. Without volunteer efforts, the College would not be able to offer these items.” As growing seasons are successful, up to 18 new plots could be added in 2011 and open to student groups, staff and faculty on a first-come, first-serve basis as personal garden plots or to serve as academic study plots. If you’re interested in volunteering to help with this project, email Hahne at alhahne@noctrl.edu or call 630-637-5623.  Provide a brief description of your willingness to help, your department and any creative ideas you have to ensure the success of the project.