Garden Grows Opportunities to Plant Roots Near the Downtown Campus

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

A Message from Terri Graham, Interim President, West and Downtown Campuses

As Valencia College continues to grow its presence in the Downtown Orlando area, we’re doing more than just educating students. On the morning of Friday, October 15, 2021, students, faculty, staff and even our own Eugene Jones, executive dean, Downtown Campus, rolled up their sleeves to help replant the Parramore Community Garden.

The garden consists of 10 plots, one of which is planted and maintained by the Downtown Campus. The produce grown helps to feed members of the Parramore community. During this year’s planting, Valencia was able to provide enough plants for two of the garden’s plots.

Downtown Campus Librarian Angela Hall helped to organize the event and also participated in the planting.

“Valencia’s involvement with the Parramore Community Garden is a way to make sure that we are contributing to this ever-growing, ever-evolving community,” Angela said.

New Student Experience Professor Mia Pierre-Wall helped to advise the team on what kinds of vegetables to plant. Mia sees real value in Valencia’s involvement in the project.

“The Parramore garden brings a great sense of pride to the community,” Mia shared. “It allows families in the area to have access to healthy food and gives everyone the experience of participating in growing a garden.”

Several students from the West and Downtown Campuses who are in Professor of Biology and Horticulture Javier Garces’ Plant Science and Agricultural Technology program classes also helped with the restoration of the garden, as did Downtown Campus Director of Community Engagement Elizabeth Thompson.

“We are proud to participate in the Parramore Community Garden,” Elizabeth reflected. “A garden is a tangible example of the beautiful things that can be born of collective and collaborative efforts. The plants and harvest thrive because of every helping hand, and the Downtown Campus is privileged to be a part of this community effort.”

Members of the Valencia community first participated in the Parramore Community Garden project back in 2018 by helping to revitalize the land, and Professor of Building Construction Technology Andy Ray’s students added a bench to the garden area in 2019.

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