Three years ago, an idea was put into place to create a campus garden. On March 21, 2013, the idea was realized with a groundbreaking for Georgia Gwinnett College's first Community Garden, located between Building I and Highway 316. The 4,000 square foot plot of land will be tilled by GGC volunteers. The Garden will help supply fresh fruits and vegetables to the Lawrenceville Cooperative Mission to help feed those in need in the Lawrenceville/Dacula area, as well as offer teaching lessons in leadership skills, creativity and scholarly research.
The Garden was founded by Dr. Paul Grant, assistant professor of political science along with former GGC professor of anthropology, Dr. Tracey Duval and Dr. Marlee Marsh, assistant professor of biology.
"This garden will provide a wonderful opportunity for our College community, particularly GGC’s students, to demonstrate GGC’s core values of creativity, leadership, scholarship and service," said Grant during the opening ceremony. "By supporting the efforts of the Lawrenceville Cooperative Mission, to help food-insecure-families in Lawrenceville and Dacula, GGC students will significantly expand the College’s service footprint as they volunteer here in the garden."
The director of the Mission, Linda Freund, expressed gratitude for the future addition of fresh fruits and vegetables. "We see about 800 families a month and give out 40,000 canned goods a month. It will be so nice to supplement all that with the fruits of the Garden," she said. "It's a wonderful way for us to be in relationship with GGC and to see how much GGC is helping the local community."
"We will have the opportunity to watch a barren patch of land near a highway turn into a vibrant, life-sustaining garden, to recognize the importance of eating local and sustainable foods, and to interact with and serve others in our community," said Dr. Amy H. Erickson, associate professor of mathematics, faculty sponsor of the Environmental Club and member of the Sustainability at GGC committee.
GGC students inspired the audience to volunteer. Jamila Lee, president of the Biology Club, said she hopes to see the GGC community "with your sleeves rolled up and ready to plant in April." And Tatiana Rodriguez, president of the Environmental Club and member of the Sustainability at GGC committee, added the importance of developing "stronger ties within Gwinnett County through the work which will be done in the earth here. I am excited to see how far we will go together in this project."
(l to r): Linda Freund, Jamila Lee, Tatiana Rodriguez, Dr. Marlee Marsh, Dr. Paul Grant, Dr. Jo Galle, William Chase (treasurer of the Environmental Club), Jarred Beauchamp (Biology Club), Dr. Amy H. Erickson and Forrest Carroll (Environmental Club).