The UHD Sustainability Garden was initiated in the fall of 2015 with support from the Center for Urban Agriculture and Sustainability, the College of Science and Technology and Facilities. The UHD Garden Club maintains the garden through student volunteers. Volunteers across academic programs and student organizations can participate in the garden work which usually occurs every Friday.
Although not certified organic, the Sustainability Garden produces seasonal vegetables without the use of pesticides, herbicides, and artificial fertilizers. UHD Engineering Technology students are working on setting up a sensory-based irrigation system run by solar and wind power, making the garden water efficient and carbon neutral. All biodegradable garden waste is recycled into compost. The composting center, started in 2016 and managed by students, also collects green waste from the cafeteria and brown waste (cardboard) from the facilities. Additionally, the Sustainability Garden provides space for a newly established student-built aquaponics system (growing fish and plants together). The aquaponics system will be also be powered by solar energy. Plants can also be grown in the garden for research projects and in support of the new UHD Pocket Prairie.
The UHD Sustainability Garden not only supports education and research projects, it also serves as a getaway in our otherwise urban environment, where students get a chance to connect with their food sources through hands-on experiences. In the past few seasons, the garden has produced plenty of tomatoes, onions, peppers, basil, dill, eggplants, okra, and beans shared by members and volunteers. In the future, our goal is to produces enough food that it can support the UHD food pantry.