October 10, 2010
Lobo Gardens event hosted an open house for its RED garden Sunday to celebrate the ongoing success of the program.
Trishae Almaraz, event organizer, said the open house was designed to show people how community gardens can be used on campus.
“We wanted to create a time and place for people to come experience the gardens because a lot of people don’t know about them,” she said. “We also wanted to raise awareness about community gardens and what effect they can have on the campus and in the community.”
The Lobo Gardens class began as a small, disorganized movement on campus several years ago, student Travis McKenzie said. Tema Milstein, who teaches the courses, said the program has since grown and now consists of four courses.
“This is chance to see how interdisciplinary and how applicable gardens are to all of our lives and all our learning,” Milstein said. “From a communication standpoint, culture and nature intersect in communication … and I think that having communication and journalism students elbow deep in these gardens has truly been transformative.”
The gardens were ideal for students to apply what they learn, said Dan Young, director of the Research Service Learning Program.
“What is knowledge for? Knowledge unused is like money unspent,” he said. “The knowledge that these students have been developing is knowledge that can be taken out into the community and applied.”
The Sunday event began with a curandero, a traditional folk healer, blessing the RED (Real Estate Development building) garden. It included speeches from prominent Lobo Gardens contributors about the history and future success of community garden initiatives.
Mary Vosevich, director of the UNM Physical Plant, said the success of the gardens is evident.
“I have to report back to the president about sustainability on campus, and what better way to do sustainability than to connect it to the students?” she said.
Bertha Gomez, an administrative assistant for Real Estate Operations, said she enjoys having the garden in the department’s backyard.
“I’m just so pleased that it’s here and that this is really happening,” she said.
McKenzie said the Lobo Gardens program has will continue to flourish.
“Lobo Gardens is just sprouting, flowering and blossoming,” he said.
Lobo Gardens has planted community gardens in the Hokona courtyard and in the backyard of UNM Real Estate Operations.