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May 26, 2015
After years of planning and hard work, the growing season for a new community garden maintained by Northwest Missouri State University’s School of Agriculture Sciences is underway, but the garden’s roots will extend beyond the campus.
The purpose of the community garden, which was completed last fall and is located near the Dean L. Hubbard Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, is to grow produce for the Maryville Ministry Center and the Nodaway County Senior Center. It also will provide opportunities for students and community members to observe various production practices used in gardening.
This summer, Maryville Hy-Vee and Northwest are partnering to provide an opportunity for individuals and organizations to contribute to the garden by donating seeds and plants. Additionally, Hy-Vee employees and volunteers are assisting with planting and maintaining the garden.
“We have been donating produce to various organizations for several years and the new additions to our community gardening efforts will only enhance the objectives we are attempting to accomplish,” Rod Barr, director of Northwest’s School of Agricultural Sciences said. “To assist in our efforts, the School of Agricultural Sciences partners with local organizations and individuals to assist in the cultivation of crops grown in the garden.”
The community garden was designed in 2012 by Grace Becker, then a graduate assistant in the School of Agricultural Sciences, who sought to create a produce and sensory garden that was accessible to students and community members. Northwest received a $50,000 grant from the Missouri Natural Resources Conservation Service for the project to fund most of the building and construction materials.
Consisting of raised beds and a pavilion, the garden also includes solar-powered lights, compost bins and recycled or repurposed building materials, rain-collection barrels and a drip irrigation system.
Northwest’s School of Agricultural Sciences has an eight-year history of growing food for disadvantaged Nodaway County community members. In 2006, it established a one-acre community garden, where faculty, staff and students planted and maintained the garden, and community members were invited to share in the produce.
In 2011, the School refocused its efforts on a half-acre garden planted and produce was donated to local, non-profit agencies serving low-income individuals and families. The primary recipients of the estimated 3 tons of vegetables produced that summer were the Ministry Center and the Nodaway County Senior Center. However, the harvest was cut short by a devastating hail storm that August.
Combined, the Ministry Center or Nodaway County Senior Center serve an estimated 200 seniors and 200 families each week.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
email@example.com | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900
Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468