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Connecting students to their food: 'This garden is a call to action'

IU Communications

June 27, 2013

Indiana University students, faculty and staff are helping produce an edible lesson on sustainability through the Campus Garden Initiative, a program of the IU Office of Sustainability.

At Hilltop Garden and Nature Center, which is on the far northeastern corner of the Bloomington campus, volunteers help plant, tend and harvest vegetables, some of which end up in campus dining facilities.

IU biology major Audrey Brinkers, the 2013 summer intern for the Campus Garden Initiative, said the program helps connect students with their food.

“I think a lot can be taught just from this small space about the environment, about food, about health, about societal changes -- law and policy – all from just educating in this space,” she said.

The program is part of an overall Edible Campus Initiative designed to encourage collaboration between existing entities interested in food and sustainability; strategize ways to incorporate food production into institutional structures and activities; and formulate a proposal for making the Bloomington campus more beautiful, sustainable and edible.

Faculty members are encouraged to incorporate the initiative into coursework, and volunteers are always welcome, Brinkers said. Campus Garden Initiative workdays are from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays and from 9 to 11 a.m. Fridays at Hilltop. Contact Audrey Brinkers at aebrinke@umail.iu.edu.

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