12,500 Hour Service Challenge: GSL Begins Work on Campus Community Garden

Global Service Learning is growing on campus – literally.

On September 20, Nebraska Wesleyan University kicked off a celebration of 125 years of growth and prosperity, and fittingly, GSL began work on its latest service project: a community garden located right on campus.

GSL members are widely known for their service work locally, nationally and internationally. The groundbreaking of the community garden is the realization of a long-time goal of various campus organizations.

“It will be a way to build community on campus and with our neighbors, said Kelli Wood, Service Learning and Global Service Learning Coordinator. “It will also be a source for good food for people who may not otherwise have access because they do not have space to garden.”

Senior GSL member Mandi Miller agrees. “Anytime Wesleyan can reach out to our surrounding community we can gain a better picture of what it means to be a citizen in the community in which we live.” Miller describes the garden as “a bridge between students and those who live near us.” “There is so much we can learn from the people next door to our dorms,” she added.

GSL members have cleared debris, cut down overgrowth, and started creating paths for the garden, located at 55th Street and Huntington Ave. Raised plant beds and soil treatment are being discussed, and the Big Garden Project out of Omaha will provide some startup funding for garden tools and supplies. As the semester progresses, GSL will bring together a team of organizations and individuals interested in having a plot and will start mapping out the large garden.

“It will be able to hold many plots for those who are interested,” says Miller.

With a projected kickoff this spring, GSL is hard at work preparing the garden. Wood encourages the Nebraska Wesleyan community to get involved. At noon on Sunday, October 7th, the campus community is invited to enjoy a free lunch at First United Methodist Church and listen to speakers discuss hunger issues in the community and sustainable agriculture. At 2 p.m., participants will finish creating paths and spreading soil or compost.

A reflection session will follow on Tuesday, October 9 at 8 p.m. for participants to discuss their service and learning while working on the garden.

“Even though everyone shows up to this garden with a different life story and way of looking at the world, by working together to build something of value for one another, we can learn more than we ever could have alone,” said Miller.

12,500 Hour Service Challenge
Are you serving your community? Join Nebraska Wesleyan University faculty, staff, students, and alumni in collectively volunteering 12,500 hours of community service during our 125th anniversary year. Log your hours and share your service story with us! By the end of September, students, faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of the University logged over 1,000 hours.


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About 25 students gathered at 55th & Huntington on Sept. 20 to begin work on the new community garden.
Members of GSL are preparing the soil this fall and will begin growing fruits and vegetables next spring.
The garden is one of many service projects that NWU is participating in as part of the 12,500 Hour Service Challenge.