The UALR Campus Garden is a collaborative partnership between the UALR Sustainability Committee, the Anthropology Club, the Nonprofit Leadership Student Association, the Biology Club, the UALR Anthropology program, the UALR Biology program, the Central Arkansas New Agrarian Society (CANAS), and the University District neighborhood. The garden was founded in Spring 2012 and is doing great!
Our garden uses only organic and sustainable methods and techniques. We are committed to reuse, recycling, upcycling, and sustainability including strategic water use and conservation.
The garden is a place for Education, Research, and Outreach about food, sustainability, economic botany, ecology and more.
For the latest photos and information, look up the UALR Campus Garden page on Facebook.
Our mission is to create an educational living laboratory that will allow students and community members to better understand the relationship between us and our landscape and the sustainable possibilities our landscape holds.
The UALR garden enables faculty, staff, students, and community members to learn about natural and organic methods of cultivation while diversifying and beautifying an underutilized campus lot. Our multifaceted approach provides an educational cycle of observing and maintaining native plants (as well as non-native agricultural plants), collecting seeds and cuttings, and propagating new plants for use in other gardens and landscapes within the neighborhood.
Context and Perspective
Recognition of the ever-pressing need for increased sustainability in human food, energy, and resource management systems is growing rapidly; however, most projects and discussions related to sustainability are problem or crisis focused. In other words, they originate from a negative position of highlighting the shortcomings of dominant national and global practices, for example pointing out the devastating environmental and health impacts of unchecked deforestation, strip mining, factory production, industrial food systems, and so on.
While awareness of the serious problems we face on this planet is a vital part of awareness and a key motivation to seek sustainable solutions, the crisis-focused perspective often leaves people feeling overwhelmed and helpless in the face of the seeming insurmountability of the issues at hand. As a society, few of us these days (especially in urban settings) actually have a working understanding of the intricate relationships of humans to the environment and the landscape around them that would allow us to be able to understand where to begin to create sustainable solutions to our pressing problems.
Working from an awareness of this situation, the UALR garden was founded as an opportunity to address sustainability from the opposite, although complementary, perspective. Our focus is to move beyond acknowledging the ecological and social crises lacking sustainable practices through a knowledge-building and community empowerment perspective. We aim to create an educational and cooperative community space that will allow students and community members to better understand the relationship of humans to our landscape and the sustainable possibilities it holds, beginning with our local situation right here in Central Arkansas.
Events and Other Information
(Re)past, Present, and Future: Arkansas Food and Foodways, an Arkansas Heritage Month joint project by the UALR Anthropology Club and the Center for Arkansas History and Culture