Blake Vernon, an instructor for the Honors Core II class for freshmen at the University of Central Arkansas, gave his students the chance to make a choice.
According to Vernon, there are eight sections to the course and in each section, students have to complete a community service project.
Vernon said his students chose to clean up and renovate the community garden in front of the McGee Center.
“The first thing that we did was get in contact with the person in charge of the community, Ann Herring,” Vernon said. “She suggested some things for us to do and she told us to run it by Derrick Cox, who is the director of the McGee Center.”
The group has been working for the past two weekends, and Vernon said the project should come to an end next weekend. The class is focusing on infrastructure, education and outreach.
As part of the infrastructure portion of the project, the class will clear out paths between the lots, paint the shed, build a flower bed around a sign and redo the sign. The class will also put up a concrete border around the garden, so city maintenance can have a boundary.
“We have designed some signs that we are going to put at different posts throughout the garden,” Vernon said. “For example, we’ll set up a compost sign by the compost bin, and it’ll tell how to take care of compost. By the raised beds, we’ll have a sign that will have information about raised bed and its advantages. There will be other signs, including mulch, paths and water.”
All of the signs will be used for the educational requirement of the course, instructing and giving the community information about a certain aspect or product of gardening. The final part of the project, the outreach portion, will get in motion soon.
“The outreach part, people should see in the next couple of weeks,” Vernon said. “We are going to put up signs all around Conway, so people will know that they have this garden to use. The signs will have all the contact information of who they need to get in contact with.”
Vernon also made a note that there are 15 students in the class, who all helped, along with volunteers from the community.
(Michael Allen is a staff writer at the Log Cabin Democrat. He can be reached at 501-505-1234 and firstname.lastname@example.org.)