UW-Parkside Campus Garden Provides 2000 Pounds of Fresh Produce to the Community in 2022
Kenosha, Wis.- Every year the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Campus Garden serves the campus and surrounding communities by donating to the Racine County Food Bank (which also serves the Kenosha County Food Bank), as well as providing an assortment of artisanal produce to the campus food service provider for small catered events. In 2022, the campus garden donated approximately 2000 pounds of fresh produce for distribution to local food pantries via the Racine County Food Bank, campus events, and the inaugural student food giveaway sponsored by the UW-Parkside Food Security Committee.
Lecturer in Sustainable Management, Julie Kinzelman oversees the garden, started by Dr. Patricia Cleary and Dr. Dave Rogers in 2010. Kinzelman and her husband, UW-Parkside alumni Peter Kinzelman, initially became involved as gardeners, leasing three plots for personal use in 2011. Kinzelman began taking a role in coordination in 2012. Since 2013, they have worked to increase the university's capacity to address food insecurity, increasing the amount of product donated each year.
Sustainability is also important to the campus garden. Utilizing heirloom varieties allows them to save the seeds and start new plants in the spring for transplant to the garden in May and June.
In addition to supplying produce to address food insecurity, the garden provides leased space for faculty, staff, students, retirees & community members to grow their own produce. It has also provided a learning environment for environmental studies students, hosted the Environmental Explorers summer camp for middle school students, and provided service opportunities for students in community-based learning courses, the Parkside Environmental Club, and other staff members. In the future, the garden hopes to provide native plant species to support campus biodiversity initiatives, enhance water conservation and showcase small scale sustainable agriculture on campus.
Campus involvement and volunteerism is vital to the campus garden’s mission. According to Kinzelman, there are opportunities to contribute to pre-season prep work in April/May, ongoing weeding, and post-season clearing in November. The garden can also use donations of new or used (but clean) clamshell containers and new Ziploc storage bags for packaging the produce prior to distribution. The shed also needs some minor repairs and re-painting. To learn more, or to volunteer, please email Julie Kinzelman (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The University of Wisconsin-Parkside is committed to high-quality educational programs, creative and scholarly activities, and services responsive to its diverse student population, and its local, national, and global communities. We are a dynamic learning community grounded in academic excellence and focused on student success, diversity, inclusion, and community engagement. The campus serves as a premier comprehensive public institution and a destination of choice, serving as a focal point of local, regional, and global progress.
University of Wisconsin-Parkside
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