The Institute of Applied Agriculture, Public Health Garden Club
The Public Health Garden is the result of a partnership between a number of departments and organizations at the University of Maryland, including the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Facilities Management, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, the Institute of Applied Agriculture, the School of Public Health, Dining Services and the Office of Sustainability, along with support from the University Sustainability Fund. The garden, located between the School of Public Health and the Epply Recreation Center, will put into practice its lessons on the importance of environmental stewardship, agricultural sustainability, physical activity and eating a balanced diet. It will serve as a living classroom where faculty, staff, and students can engage in experiential education on issues directly related to community, public, and environmental health.
The land secured for the garden is sloped and will therefore require terracing to create planting beds and minimize erosion. Plant Science and Landscape Architecture Program students will be assigned the design and implementation of the garden as a semester long class project, ensuring student involvement from inception. Dr. Allen Davis of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering will be developing stormwater catchment and treatment facilities to support the teaching garden under a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and PG County Government grant that looks to reduce contaminated runoff into the Anacostia watershed. Parking lot stormwater runoff will be treated in a bioretention system, which will produce clean water for use in the garden.
The Public Health Student-Teaching Garden (PHG) worked with a Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) class and LARC321, harnessing their creativity, hard work, and analysis to design the future garden. The PHG also utilized goats to clear the weeds. The winning garden design was approved by ADSB on April 15, 2011.
Construction of Community Garden terraces was completed in 2015, and plots of land are available for rental by students, faculty, and staff. The orchard now consists of several fruit-bearing trees and will continue to grow in coming years. The PHG is currently managed by an undergraduate club with faculty and staff advisors.