Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 49.94
Liaison Kimberly Hodge
Submission Date March 3, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Washington and Lee University
IN-24: Innovation A

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Nicole Poulin
Campus Garden Manager
Office of Sustainability
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Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Service Learning in the Campus Garden

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

Since it’s drastic renovation and update in 2015, Washington and Lee’s Campus Garden has dramatically increased its support of our local community through a variety of actions, activities, and events. Firstly, every summer, we offer child summer programs (ranging from local YMCA groups to organizations focused on children with disabilities) where elementary school children can learn about various topics, like nutrition and health, and how it applies to work and effort in a real garden. The students meet twice a week, spending an hour in the garden each time, from May to August, with different but similarly-related lesson plans each day.
Our Campus Garden is home to a weekly Community Volunteer Day, where high school students and middle-aged adults alike work in the garden and learn about how they can take the sustainable practices we utilize back to their homes. For example, we give advice, help, and support when it comes to community members creating their own mini-gardens or making their own compost.
We also have bi-weekly relationships with local hospice groups, where we grow and give flowers to patients and their families. Furthermore, extra produce from the garden that isn’t given to our campus dining services goes to our Campus Kitchen, which then can travel to local food banks and community members in need.
Not only does our Campus Garden provide benefits to the community and to our campus with sustainably-produced food and products, but there are added educational benefits through student service learning, educational requirements, and courses that use the Garden as educational supplements outside the classroom. The Garden has recently been used as educational supplements for several classes, including Food For Thought (taught in 2015), a course focused on the role sustainable agriculture plays in nutrition and the fight against obesity. The Garden is also used every year for courses such as Environmental Service Learning, where students are given the opportunity to see first-hand the real-life application of sustainable practices learned in previous courses, and yearly since 2015 in our Introduction to Environmental Studies course.


Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Curriculum
Research
Campus Engagement

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
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The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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