Free gardening classes offered by University

Amber Wilson-

For the second consecutive year, UTC’s Environmental Task Force Committee and the Ecological Decisions for a Global Environment groups will sponsor a gardening class.  Both groups strongly urge students, faculty, and

staff to attend.

EDGE is a student led organization that promotes recycling and other sustainable

practices to students and demonstrates how being environmentally aware can improve our campus. EDGE work can be viewed throughout the campus. Recently the group has raised two

flower beds outside of Lockmiller and Stophel apartments.

Lisa Darger, the Sustainability Coordinator for the Office of Sustainability, said the gardening class will teach individuals how to garden

and the different aspects of gardening. Participants will also learn the effects of planting with

genetically modified seeds and the benefits of locally grown produce. “I’ve always had a garden.

I had a salsa and herb garden, but personally I enjoy house plants,” Darger said. She said past

classes have averaged from 20-30 people and this year they are expecting more. Jake Holladay,

a junior from Clarksville, Tenn., said he does not have the patience for gardening because he prefers instant

gratification. “However, I think the food would taste better and it would be healthier because I

know what’s in it,” Holladay said.

The funding for gardening projects is covered by the student green fee. The Green Fee

was approved through an SGA student referendum in spring 2007 and is supported through a $10

per student charge required for each academic term. The fee was sought to support the campus

Recycling Program, purchase Green Power, and consider and enforce other eco-friendly campus

programs. Madeline Haskamp, a junior from Franklin, Tenn., said she does not mind the green fee

because the campus looks beautiful.

UTC’s campus has been honored for its green scenery by achieving recognition from

the certified Tennessee Arboretum status, Tree Campus USA, and the University Green Power

Leadership Award. In addition to awards, EDGE also conducts a fundraiser to aid in the Chestnut

Tree Project. This project raises money to restore destroyed trees because of the blight

disease in the Southern Appalachian and Cumberland Plateau Regions.

To get connect with EGDE, join the open group on Facebook or at www.utc.edu/sustainability/edge.

They have several activities planned in April for Earth Week, so lend your green thumb!

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