As a result of the Sustainability Resource Center moving to Academic Affairs and emphasizing activities such as data gathering/analysis, social marketing, and communication, the position of “sustainability coordinator” was eliminated. The Sustainability Resource Center is indebted to Jen Colby, former sustainability coordinator, for her years of service, her willingness to teach, and her devotion to students. She will be missed.
By Erika Longino, Sustainability Resource Center
I remember starting out as a volunteer at the Edible Campus Gardens. Being a Pacific Northwest-raised grower, my desert gardening toolbox was sparse to say the least. Jen Colby, former sustainability coordinator for the Sustainability Resource Center, is the one who taught me the tricks and tips to gardening in the arid southwest. She also taught me a great deal more.
Whether it was how to improve saline-alkaline soils, identify desert native plants, get crops enough water, or deal with bindweed, Jen was incredibly knowledgeable and willing to share. Furthermore, her warmth and ability to navigate the University system were imperative to the functioning of the gardens at the U. With deep appreciation and gratitude, we acknowledge Jen’s amazing presence here at the Sustainability Resource Center and in the gardens, and likewise acknowledge how much she’ll be missed.
If Jen has taught us anything, it is to carry on through adversity and be flexible with sticky situations. When University construction cuts through the garden space, we plan a hoop house and a raspberry bed to implement when it is complete (coming spring/summer 2015!). When our storage basement floods, we inventory the damage and negotiate the purchase of a new set of tools. When it looks like rain, we plant spring seeds and make the best use of Utah’s precious rainfall.
The hope of the stewards of the Edible Campus Gardens is to carry on Jen’s tradition of sharing and educating future edible landscapers. Your hands, head, and heart are always welcome in the campus gardens. Volunteer for a fresh perspective and some fresh produce! For more information about volunteering, e-mail the Edible Campus Gardens at firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up for our weekly updates.
Erika Longino is a garden steward with the Sustainability Resource Center’s Edible Campus Gardens.