UW-Parkside Awarded $75,000 Grant to Enhance Community Garden Sustainability

Published: March 19, 2024

UW-Parkside Community GardenKENOSHA, WI - The University of Wisconsin-Parkside is proud to announce that its community garden has been awarded a $75,000 grant from the Fund for Lake Michigan to drive initiatives in stormwater management, biodiversity, and climate adaptation within the framework of community agriculture.

The grant was secured through a joint proposal submitted by Dr. Julie Kinzelman, visiting lecturer in the Sustainable Management Department, and Emily Reed, sustainability coordinator. It will be instrumental in fortifying the already significant efforts led by Kinzelman, who manages the garden.

“We are grateful for the support from the Fund for Lake Michigan,” said Kinzelman. “The grant is a significant step to fostering an even more environmentally conscious campus community.”

Key enhancements enabled by the grant include the installation of a compost bin, a rainwater collection system, a small fruit tree orchard, cold frames to extend the growing season for specific vegetables, and a Monarch Waystation-certified pollinator garden featuring native plants propagable on campus. These upgrades will significantly reduce the reliance on external resources, allowing for a more sustainable and eco-friendly gardening approach.

KinzelmanOne notable aspect of the grant is the creation of two-year paid student internships, providing UW-Parkside students with hands-on experience in sustainable urban agriculture and skills in ecological restoration. While student organizations have previously volunteered in the garden during the academic year, these internships offer a unique opportunity to expand student involvement year-round.

"This funding opens up exciting possibilities for us to make our garden even more sustainable and impactful,” said Kinzelman. “The addition of student internships will not only benefit the garden but also provide students with real-world experience in sustainable practices.”

Additionally, a subaward is being used to partner with the Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network to increase the biodiversity of native plants on campus and at the Great Lakes Community Conservation Corps in Racine, in partnership with the Corps’ Ag Veteran Program. This initiative is designed to increase the number of military veterans employed in agribusiness by providing middle-skill credentials and immersive training.

In 2023, the campus garden produced 2,145 pounds of fresh produce for donation. The majority of the harvested produce is donated to the Racine-Kenosha County Food Bank. Additionally, the garden supplies produce for campus events and supports the annual UW-Parkside Food Security Committee Food Giveaway, in collaboration with the Shalom Center of Kenosha.

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.

Media contact:

Scott Rudie
Executive Director of Communication and Marketing
University of Wisconsin-Parkside
rudie@uwp.edu | (262) 300-9549

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