A permaculture garden project on the UMASS Amherst campus has caught the White House's attention. The uniquely designed sustainable garden has won a place among 15 other college projects in the national "Campus Champions for Change Challenge." The project is now pushing for online votes in a competition that ends Saturday.
Permaculture gardens are designed to be low-maintenance, biologically diverse and improve the land where they grow. Nathan Aldrich is among the team of students and alumni who helped design the garden on a small plot of land on the UMASS campus. He says the the nuts, fruits and vegetables grown next to Franklin Dining Commons feed students and educate the public.
"We have this very visible sight in the middle of campus that used to be a grass lawn and one year later is a beautiful productive permaculture food garden. There are thousands of people who walk by this garden every day and we can't feed all of them but we can do is show them a new way of thinking of about how land is used and where food is grown and who grows food so we can change those paradigms.," Aldrich said.
The Campus Champions for Change Challenge will recognize one project that promises to improve college campus life and the world. The University of Arkansas's student food pantry and Grinnell College's Local Loans project are also finalists. The winner of the competition will have the opportunity to present their project to the White House on March 15th. To vote for the project by Saturday at 11:59 pm visit the competition's website.