NKU plans to open its free community garden in April

Northern Kentucky University recently received a $700 Color in Our Community grant from the Campbell County Cooperative Extension Service to help fund an on-campus community garden. The garden will open in April and join a network of existing gardens in the Highland Heights area.
This isn’t the first time NKU has started a garden on campus. The first was behind Callahan Hall, but once renovations started on the building the construction work rendered the garden site unsafe.
The new community garden is in a more central location behind NKU’s historic log cabin off of Nunn Drive, which makes it accessible to a wider diversity of people. It’s a relatively small garden, with just 10 plots that measure 4-by-8-ft. NKU plans to plant wildflowers, and during Earth Week fruit trees will be added around the garden.
Everything about the garden is free, from the obtaining of plots to the seeds to the equipment to garden. NKU Facilities Management paid for a large portion, including the construction labor and foundation work; the Color in Our Community grant filled in the gaps. NKU’s on-campus food provider, Chartwells, is providing the seeds.
“This is a great opportunity for people to grow their own fresh produce, something that college students have access to, especially in the summer,” NKU Sustainability Manager Tess Phinney says. “It’s a chance to get free food as well as healthy and organic food that you grow yourself.”
Applications for a garden plot are due by Feb. 29 and can be accessed here. Each gardener must attend one of two orientation classes scheduled for March 23 at 5:50 p.m. and March 25 at 11 a.m. at the Campbell County Cooperative Extension in Highland Heights.
At the meeting, Phinney will go over the gardening waiver and the two horticulture technicians who are tag-teaming the classes will go over the basics of gardening. The classes are open to anyone interested, even if you’re not adopting a plot on NKU’s campus.
“The garden gives the university and surrounding community the chance to partner on something bigger than ourselves,” Phinney says. “It gives us a chance to help build a community.”

Read more articles by Caitlin Koenig.

Caitlin Koenig is a Cincinnati transplant and 2012 grad of the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri. She's the department editor for Soapbox Media and currently lives in Northside with her husband, Andrew, and their three furry children. Follow Caitlin on Twitter at @caite_13.  
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