The Environmental Science Club and the International Students Association are working together to help campus grow, literally.

The two groups have started a liberty garden near the Placentia Canal across from the Health Center on campus. The garden will provide fresh fruit and vegetables for students who are participating. In addition, the habitat will create opportunities for pollination, and dilution of air pollution.

Tamia Murray, a member of the Environmental Club, said the purpose of the garden was academic.

“Gardens are outdoor classrooms and serve as living laboratories for science courses,” she said. “Visiting a garden can increase one’s respect and appreciation for the environment. Taking care of a garden builds character and better sense of community, teamwork and leadership. Gardens often bring educators, students and community members together.”

This is not the first time campus has kept gardens on the grounds. In the late 1890s, the first president of the university Richard R. Wright established organic farming on the campus and curated eco-technology.

George Washington Carver hosted a farming conference at the Georgia State Industrial College for Colored Youth, which is the former name of Savannah State University.

International Education Specialist Joline Keevy said the garden was accidentally sprayed with pesticides over the summer, but the incident helped the Environmental Science Club and the International Students Association work even harder together.

“I’m excited about working with the Environmental Science Club and Dr. Ebanks on this project,” she said. “We started last spring on getting a garden started near the Placentia Canal. We currently have flowers growing there and we plan to have vegetables very soon. Eventually, we plan to incorporate international flowers and vegetables into the garden.”

Keevy said she has asked international students to ask their families about the kinds of seeds and plants common in their homes so they can possibly be grown in the garden.

“We want students, faculty, and staff to have an opportunity to get their hands dirty and get the experience to grow food that you want to eat,” she said. “We live in a climate where you can grow almost anything year around.”

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