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7 Reasons You Should Sponsor Your Local University Garden

Gardens do more than grow food...

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1. You partner with local non-profit organizations.

Facebook, UTC sustainablitly / Via Facebook: utcsustainability

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga partners with The Community Kitchen, a 501 (c) 3 focused on reducing poverty and homelessness, by donating hundreds of pounds of fresh, organic produce. For example, the garden donated 1,600 pounds of sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving!

2. You teach students and community members sustainable habits.

Tucker McClendon, UTC student

Not everyone knows how food is grown. The garden gives students and community members an opportunity to learn skills they can use the rest of their lives. While University Gardens are geared towards professors and students, community members are welcomed and encouraged to partake. According to health.com, the benefits of gardening are extensive. In addition to healthy food, benefits include stress relief, better mental health and exercise.

3. You proactively combat the inevitable effects of Climate Change.

Google Images, Fairfield University

Climate Change is no longer debatable. It is scientific fact. Currently carbon dioxide is one of the most prevalent greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. Plants naturally absorb carbon dioxide from the environment, which over time may temper the effects of climate change. Therefore, the more plants, the better!

4. Community Gardens raise property values for the properties near the garden.

Google Images, Wikimedia Commons

A study done by the Furman Center shows a positive effect on the value of properties that surround community gardens. The study shows “those effects are driven by the poorest of host neighborhoods where a garden raises neighboring property values by as much as 9.4 percentage points within five years of the garden’s opening.”

5. By participating in a community gardens, you reduce barriers to healthy food and help relieve food deserts.

Tucker McClendon, UTC Student

A study done by the City of Portland, Oregon shows community gardens give people easy access to healthy and fresh food. According to the study, this is made possible by “reducing carbon emissions; cooling the urban environment; preventing stormwater runoff; and helping to supplement household income and food supply.”

6. You help bring communities together.

Tucker McClendon, UTC Student

University gardens are beneficial to community development. Studies have shown that there is a correlation between community gardens and decreasing crime rates. In addition, the common goals implemented within the garden help fortify relationships formed during volunteer hours. These bonds go beyond the bounds of the garden and have a positive impact on society.

7. You will receive a personalized plaque on UTC’s new learning pavilion.

Houzz.com / Via houzz.com

Visit our GoFundMe to partner with us as we work towards building a learning pavilion onsite. Once finished, the pavilion will be available as a resource to University professors and students. Teachers will be encouraged to hold classes outside in the pavilion and students will be invited to study in fresh air.

The inspiration for this listicle is the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s Teaching and Learning Garden. The TLG, as we call it, is in its first year of production. During this time, it has been successful in providing food for the community kitchen while simultaneously providing a place for students to further their education. University executives have shown a lack of interest in funding the garden. Please consider giving to this worthy cause by following the GoFundMe link.

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