Reviving the Bates Garden on the corner of College and Vale Streets is in the institution's best interest, for a campus garden would synthesize Bates College’s ideals of academic rigor, intellectual curiosity, and freedom. Through extensive 1 research, we - students in ENVR 417: Community-Engaged Research - have pinpointed why past attempts at the Garden have failed, and how a revival would succeed. Past engagement with the Garden failed to engage it as a functioning system and put all leadership responsibilities on an existing, full-time staff member, Bill Bergevin the College’s Landscape Architect, which lead to the Garden’s demise. Accordingly, our primary research objective was to outline the core elements of a sustainable campus garden. Our semester of research has proven that successful campus gardens are those that engage with gardens as promising methods of furthering well-being and resiliency on multiple levels: individual, social group, and natural environment.2 In this proposal, we have detailed the Five Key Elements of a sustainable campus garden: Campus Life Cohesion, Academic Integration, Community of Harvest Beneficiaries, Management & Organization, and Institutional Commitments to Funding. We conclude that a sustainable campus garden is an integral part of campus life and culture, is assimilated into the college curriculum, is integrated into a community of consumers who care, depends on consistent, well-resourced management and organization, and is supported by long-term institutional funding. In order to fulfill the Five Key Elements that would successfully revive the Bates Garden, we need a system in place that institutionalizes a community of investment, most of which already exists. Thus far, we have commitments from Dining Services, The Sustainability Office, The Multifaith Chaplaincy, and the Purposeful Work Initiative. In order to mobilize the community of existing resources, our final and most vital research finding is that Bates must hire a seasonal, part-time staff member to oversee the Garden. We hope that readers of this proposal will understand the vitality of reviving the Bates Garden, an opportunity that would directly carry out Bates College’s dedication to holistic education through creative scholarship.3
Berman, Allison; Duarte, Zsofia; and Marchetti, Emma, "Outlining a Sustainable Campus Garden: A Proposal to Revive the Bates Garden" (2016). Community Engaged Research Reports. 33.