The Public Health Garden Club began at the University of Maryland, College Park in 2010 as a graduate student project. Today, it is fueled by both undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty, staff and local volunteers. All are welcome to try their hand in the greenery tucked in between Eppley Recreation Center and the Public Health building.
Asamaniwa Padi-Adjirackor, left, a sophomore agriculture and resource economics major and Claudia Romeo, right, a freshman elementary education major, begin their work hour at the Public Health Garden by shoveling and transporting compost provided by campus dining halls to the green space on Sept. 28, 2015. Transporting the entire heap to the garden was the goal of this work hour. Each club meeting has a different objective.
Meredith Epstein, left, the faculty adviser of the Public Health Garden and a teacher of sustainable agriculture at the University of Maryland oversees volunteers as they transport compost to the hillside of the garden on Sept. 28, 2015. Epstein said she has been with the club since 2013 and she runs all of the work hours at the garden.
Edgar Moctezuma, a University of Maryland professor, brings more compost to the hillside of the garden which will be used as new foundation and fertilizer for the fall plants on Sept. 28, 2015. Moctezuma teaches a class called "Plants that Transformed the World." One component of the class is participation in the garden.
Meredith Epstein works with volunteer Philip Schwartz, a sophomore environmental and science technology major to start the engine of a plow to turn the fresh compost on Sept. 28, 2015.
Asamaniwa Padi-Adjirackor works to clear out the flower bed on Sept. 28, 2015 so volunteers can replace it with fall plants and produce. Padi-Adjirackor has been a member of the club for one week. She said her goal is to one day be a farmer.
Students work in the garden terrace in preparation for the fall plants on Sept. 28, 2015. The garden was recently terraced in the spring of 2015. The club focuses on sustainable gardening practices, such as the irrigation described in the above sign.
Ann Marie Huisentruit, the Public Health Garden Club president and senior elementary education major, wheels compost to the terraced area where late seasoned plantings of squash, basil, hot peppers and cherry tomatoes grow on Sept. 28, 2015. Huisentruit took office as president last May, but has been a member of the club since December 2013. She said the club will soon offer garden plots for the community to purchase.
Huisentruit lays more compost down into the tomato bed on Sept. 28, 2015. "I discovered the club as a freshman. I had to research a local garden for Student Government Association. I had no gardening experience at all, but I decided to come back and join. I've really learned a lot. It's nice. Now the club is a major part of my life."
The finished tomato bed lays with fresh compost at the end of the work hour in the Public Health Garden on Sept. 28, 2015. Work hours run throughout the semester on Mondays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Each day focuses on a new task and no experience is necessary.