10-Year Anniversary Garden Bash

Nature and Knightro—what more could you wish for at the Arboretum Garden Bash Kickoff? Early in the 2019 fall semester, the Arboretum celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the original Community Garden. For the past 10 years, the Arboretum has been using organic practices to grow veggies and herbs for UCF students to teach them about gardening and cultivating plants, and to provide leadership training opportunities. Much of the food produced by the garden ends up at the Knight’s Helping Knights Pantry where the student can pick it up three days a week, absolutely free! Thousands of pounds of produce have been donated to the students since the original gardens launch and we are continuing to “grow” each year! The outstanding success of the original Community Garden, coupled with a cell tower building project, led to the construction of a brand-new Community Garden that we installed last spring. That new garden is now in its first season of fall production.

Our Arboretum Garden Bash Kickoff drew in 72 students who took tours of the Community Garden, Greenhouse and Pollinator Gardens. Our Learning-by-Leading co-coordinators and interns gave short presentations about these three areas of the Arboretum and explained the various ways that students can become involved with our programs. We were excited that our favorite UCF mascot, Knightro, was able to make an appearance and cheer on our students. Knightro also helped to harvest herbs, “work” in the garden, and pose for fun photos with the students. Students who visited each co-coordinator and intern’s presentations were given a free tote bag at the end of their visit.  We also gave them a bonus of harvesting free herbs to those who were interested. Many students jumped at the opportunity to harvest herbs alongside our friend, Knightro. The Arboretum is grateful for every student who attended the Garden Bash and we look forward having them return to volunteer with us!

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