Community Garden and Syracuse Grows Collaboration (2015)
The Upstate Community Garden is a 30-foot by 40-foot garden located in front of the Campus Activities Building. The garden was started in 2009 by Thomas Pelis, Assistant Vice President for Facilities and Planning and Chair of Upstate's Sustainability Task Force, as one of many ways Upstate has worked to increase sustainability. Students, under the guidance of Tom, have been involved in planting and maintaining the garden each year. The garden is used to plant a variety of vegetables, generating a supply of locally grown, pesticide-free, nutritious food.
This year Upstate Community Garden has become a member garden of Syracuse Grows. On April 28, volunteers at Syracuse Grows delivered mulch to the community garden. Prior to delivery of the mulch, Physical Plant helped set-up the garden by tilling and creating mounded rows for planting. A couple students then worked on pulling the weeds in preparation for laying mulch. After delivery of the mulch, students put a layer of newspaper down, followed by the mulch, spreading it along the garden pathways to help control weeds. At the end of May students plan on planting a variety of vegetables including squash, tomatoes, lettuce, beans, beets, and peppers.
Syracuse Grows is a volunteer-run organization established in 2008. Syracuse Grows works to build and help maintain community and school gardens by providing advocacy, programming, education, and gardening resources to support local community gardens. Each year Syracuse Grows has a Resource Drive in which gardening resources are obtained and distributed to community gardens. The Resource Drive is kicked off with the creation of a garden "wish list" in March that may include mulch, manure, compost, tools, seeds, seedlings, and volunteer labor. Syracuse Grows volunteers then work with community partners and sponsors to obtain and deliver the requested items in early spring.
Upstate's Community Garden is a prime example of sustainability and collaboration. More information on Syracuse Grows.