The Garden Commission is a commission under the Office of the Internal Vice President. It focuses on the garden that is located in the Arroyo Vista Housing Amphitheatre, which is next to the ARC. The primary goal of the garden is to educate the UCI community about sustainability through emphasizing the importance of community gardens, sustainable farming, and the beauty of our local garden ecosystem.
This year, the Garden Commission plans to rehabilitate the garden in order to educate UCI and the local community. We plan to do this by focusing planting perennials and drought-resistant plants for easy maintenance. Also, the Garden Commission plans to maximize the garden as a learning space. The long term goals of the Garden Commission is to plant an orchard, enclose part of the garden as a butterfly enclosure, help local community in facilitating their own community garden, and have other community gardens at UCI.
What is the goal of the garden?
The primary goal of the garden is to provide UCI students an opportunity to learn about the food system through garden volunteering, workshops, and curriculum integration. Food production is NOT a priority. The garden is an extension of the classroom; it is not a farm.
Where is the garden?
The garden is located in the Arroyo Vista Housing Amphitheatre, just next to the ARC.
Who gets to use the garden plots?
UCI already has a few plot-based gardens – they’re very popular (Anthill Village Community Garden has a year long waitlist of over 100 people). We’re not trying to compete – in fact, no single student will be alloted a single plot. There’s no way we can meet the interest through plot rental.
Our garden will operate more like an urban farm – where the garden volunteers and coordinators have a global jurisdiction over all the plots. (See the last question for more information.)
Who is allowed to garden?
Undergraduates, experienced or inexperienced in gardening, doesn’t matter! The garden is a space that is intended to encompass this plurality.
Who decides what food is grown, and where the food goes?
This garden is student run and student funded. It makes the most sense for the garden volunteers to decide what is grown, and how the harvest will be used at the end of the season. To that end, we invite anyone who is interested to attend our weekly officer meeting. This quarter it will be held regularly on Monday, 8 to 9am at the Student Center’s Courtyard Study Lounge. The exact room number will be updated on our calender as the meeting approaches.
How can I get involved?
There are several ways. (1) Sign up through our volunteer program outlined above. (2) Come to our weekly Saturday events (you can first go to the farmer’s market at UTC early in the morning and then come to our event, which, with a few exception, starts at 10am). (3) Join our commission at our officer meetings to share your voice. (4) And if you are a leader in a student group on campus, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for any collaborative projects that you might have in mind!
In addition to our regular weekly event over the weekend, you can sign up to volunteer through this Google document! Since we understand that some of you might not be able to attend garden events over the weekends due to conflicts in schedule, we created this online resource so that prospective volunteers such as yourself can have an opportunity to volunteer during weekdays. Volunteers will be assisting an officer in watering the garden. We hope that this new function will prove valuable for you.
In order to ensure a smooth coordination between the Garden Commission officers and volunteers, please follow the following steps and advices when signing up through this online function:
- Choose a time and a date that works best for you to volunteer. Watering sessions usually take an hour. Individual volunteers will be accompanied by an officer from the Garden Commission at that time and date.
- Put your name, email, and phone number on the hour-bloc that you want to volunteer at – AT LEAST 24 hours in advance. For example: if you want to volunteer on Monday from 8-9AM, please sign-up before 8AM Sunday at the latest. This is so that we can ensure that an officer can be sent to accompany you.
- There can be at most TWO volunteers signed-up for the same hour-bloc (due to the limited number of water hoses we have on site). BUT: we DO encourage you to sign-up for the same hour-bloc, when possible, with another person if he or she has already signed-up on the day that you would want to volunteer on. For example: if someone has already signed-up to volunteer on Tuesday from 4-5PM and you also want to volunteer on Tuesday, we recommend that you sign-up for the same hour-bloc as well. If, however, you can’t because you are busy at that time, we kindly recommend that you select another DATE to volunteer on. This is so that we can ensure there will be volunteers at the garden on as many days of the week as possible.
- Once you are signed-up, we will contact you promptly to confirm your volunteer status. And we will see you at the garden!
Other ways to get involved:
- Subscribe to our newsletter for updates and notification about our regular weekend events (they also viewable at the “Event” page).
- Join our commission at our officer meetings to share your voice and ideas.
- If you have any special, collaborative projects or events that you deem pertain to the garden, shoot the Garden Commissioner an email at email@example.com to discuss their possibility.