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It’s Easy Being Green Local organizations help the residents and businesses of Lafayette County have a positive impact on the environment. written by Ginny Cooper McCarley additional reporting by Gaillard Teague photographed by Joe Worthem

38 INVITATION OXFORD | November 2017

UM Garden Club In September 2015, more than 20 volunteers gathered to plant the first crop at the University of Mississippi campus community garden. The garden was established to provide an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to learn gardening skills and provide fresh produce for the UM Food Bank. The garden site originally existed for students in the Residential College South, but it was expanded to be used as a UM campus garden through the efforts of the Office of Sustainability’s first AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) member Ellen Olack. Olack also helped establish the UM Garden Club, whose members grow fresh produce both for themselves and for the food bank. “(The UM Garden Club) has been a very active group for about three years now,” said

Lindsey Abernathy, associate director of the Office of Sustainability, which encourages environmentally positive change at the university through the garden club and other programs. The club, which hosts about 24 regularly attending members, is open to students of all majors and interests as well as staff members from the university. “The Garden Club caters to students of all gardening skill levels who are interested in learning more about gardening practices, as well as educating about issues of food insecurity, local and sustainable food, and sustainable gardening practices,” UM Garden Club President Maggie Smith said. Though garden club members prune, cut, weed and harvest the garden, the members are mainly encouraging the natural growth of the plants. “That’s the great part about sustainability:

Invitation Oxford - November 2017  
Invitation Oxford - November 2017