SBCC Permaculture Gardens Win Prestigious Award

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SBCC Permaculture Gardens Win Prestigious Award
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Source: Santa Barbara City College

In 2015, Santa Barbara City College students and facilities staff began converting sections of unused lawn on West Campus into more productive garden systems with native species and food-producing plants. The resulting Permaculture Gardens have received honorable mention for the Exemplary Program Award sponsored by the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, the Foundation for California Community Colleges and the Board of Governors.

As part of this year's theme, "Environmental Responsibility," the Permaculture Gardens were one of only four programs in the state honored with this award, which recognizes "innovative programs that contribute to student success." The Permaculture Gardens are an example of the campus as a living laboratory where students learn critical skills while making the campus more sustainable.

According to the Faculty Recognition Committee, "Creating a sense of belonging is a major goal for community colleges and anecdotally, students working on the gardens have found that sense of belonging and a project that motivates them and their studies, creating pride and a sense of empowerment as students help other students."

SBCC's Permaculture Gardens have replaced about 35,000 feet of unused lawn. They do not use fertilizer or pesticides, and they capture runoff, making better use of water and decreasing pollution into surrounding ecosystems. Students design and maintain these gardens, and experiment with different combinations of native species and food-producing crops. The productivity of a crop plant, visitation of native pollinators to certain flowering species, the development of healthy soil, or the infiltration of runoff all provide opportunities for investigation.

The program director, Dr. Adam Green, has been invited to attend the Board of Governor's ceremony in Sacramento on January 14, 2019, to receive the award.

West Campus Then

West Campus Now

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As a public community college dedicated to the success of each student…

Santa Barbara City College provides students with a diverse learning environment that inspires curiosity and discovery, promotes global responsibility and fosters opportunity for all.

Our Vision

Santa Barbara City College strives to build a socially conscious community where knowledge and respect empower individuals to transform our world.

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Luvaduck Dec 25, 2018 07:36 AM
SBCC Permaculture Gardens Win Prestigious Award

Sort of a porridge of pounded & treated acorn meats was a basis food for the Chumash. They were basically hunter-gatherers. Has CC put out any sort of list of what native species they're cultivating?

agreen Dec 26, 2018 08:32 AM
SBCC Permaculture Gardens Win Prestigious Award

We are using a lot of native species because they are drought tolerant and provide habitat for other native animal species, especially native pollinators and predators of pests. I have seen many native bee, butterfly, and bird species now coming to this area. One of the native plant lists we use to plan is from the SBBG, where Denise Knapp has developed a list of native plants that attract native bees useful in pollinating food crops.
Most of our natives are perennial, so they take some time to grow. We have sourced many from local nurseries (Island Seed and Feed and Knapps) and are also growing some of our own.
We are currently working on educational signage that will also have the option of providing some periodic plant lists as the garden changes. It is still in an experimental stage where students are trying out different combinations of natives and food plants to see what works best on the site.
Once SBCC has its new website developed we also hope to have a more user friendly and expansive site for sustainability on campus that can include garden information.

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