Sustainability Fund Projects

Growing a Greener UD

Community Garden at the English Language Institute

Project Manager: Dan Kasper, PhD (2012), Center for Energy and Environmental Policy

Grant Awarded: 2011

Amount of Grant: $3,000

Overview:This project aims to cultivate a demonstration organic garden on the grounds of the English Language Institute (ELI) building at 189 W. Main St. to grow organic produce and to provide community members with the opportunity to experience the joy of gardening and to interact with each other.  The project will also offer various gardening- and food-related workshops free of charge to UD personnel and the public.  It is also hoped that by demonstrating that students, staff and faculty are capable of maintaining a productive, aesthetically pleasing garden, the chances of establishing more campus gardens will increase.  The project is managed by the UD Food and Gardening Policy Committee, which is comprised of graduate and undergraduate students, with Chad Nelson (Professor of Landscape Design) as the Faculty Advisor.

Visit the Garden Website at

Facebook Join us on Facebook at ELI Garden Events!

Please visit our website for information on our 2011 workshops

This project is intended to help work toward sustainability by fostering a sense of respect for the earth and what it provides ...



Organic gardening reaps benefits on many scales (from personal to global) and in many ways (environmental, energy, social, health, economic, spiritual).  It can be done to produce food, beauty, medicine, peace of mind, and many other things.  In short, there are so many benefits to gardening that everyone should be given the opportunity to do it. Unfortunately many people are never exposed to gardening, have no idea how to start, or even where their food comes from. This project is intended to help work toward sustainability by fostering a sense of respect for the earth and what it provides by giving community members the opportunity to learn how to grow their own food in an environmentally sustainable manner.

Project Goal:

The goal of the ELI garden project is to bring people together from across the UD community (students, faculty, ELI students, our neighbors in Newark, etc.) to learn about and participate in many aspect of gardening.  This project is also intended to motivate people to begin to garden on their own, garden more, or at least to gain knowledge about and respect for organic gardening. In addition to the work in the garden, the ELI garden project volunteers also offer many workshops that provide participants with the information and skills that they can use the rest of their life and help them realize the many benefits of gardening.  

Current status:

The garden was built in late summer and early fall of 2011, and the first crop was harvested in October/November.  In addition, winter wheat and rye were planted as “cover crops,” which help enhance and maintain the soil over the winter, and garlic was planted in the fall.

A community planting day took place in mid-March when various seeds were planted; including peas, assorted leafy greens, and flowers (nasturtiums).  A seed-starting workshop was given by New Castle County Master Gardeners in early March.

A meeting was convened to discuss integrating the garden into the ELI curriculum, and talks are continuing in this regard. 

Three additional workshops are scheduled:

  • April 28th (beginning Gardening),
  • May 5th (Intermediate Gardening) and
  • May 12th (Composting). 

Finally, a custom-built steel and copper gate will be installed as of April 15th.   


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