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  Sustainability Initiative  
 

 

 

 

Our Success Stories: Developing Local Food Systems

 
Campus Community Garden

In 2008, the Student Sustainability Committee proposed that a Campus Community Garden be established on campus for growing vegetables and herbs for the Aquinas Community. The proposal received a value rating of 4 in the Joint Sustainability Committee (11/20/08) and was approved by the Provost in March 2009. A very small plot was installed during summer 2009 near the Browne Center, but was subsequently abandoned by the students.

Spurred by a suggestion received at a Staff Assembly meeting, the Staff Sustainability Committee decided to revitalize and relocate the community garden in the spring of 2011. The 30’ x 30’ community garden is located near Fulton House. In 2011, the garden grew a variety of vegetables and herbs, including tomatoes, basil, squash, radishes and much more! No synthetic fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides were used on the garden, and it was almost entirely cared for by Aquinas volunteers.
Not only does the community garden provide opportunities for growing local, organic food, but also opportunities for community outreach.
 
Creative Dining Services Sustainability Program
Wege Cafeteria Creative Dining Services is a Michigan-based company contracted to provide Aquinas College’s food services and catering. Beginning in the Fall of 2009, the company removed all trays from Aquinas' cafeteria, saving water and reducing food waste quantities. Creative Dining also has implemented a Locally-Grown program, buying as many turkeys and as much produce as possible from Michigan farmers (through Van Eerden). Our glass, aluminum, and plastic waste, as well as our fryer oil is recycled locally. Organic herbs are purchased locally, and purchases for things like salad dressings, cereals, ice cream, and other dairy products are made locally as well. There has also been a transition to earth-friendly disposable products like to-go containers. The food service provider also uses select Surety green seal certified cleaning products, and are planning to expand the program.