Delaware State University highlighted Earth Day on campus by christening a new Sustainability Garden that underscored the institution’s commitment to be faithful environmental stewards.
The University held an April 22 ribbon cutting ceremony for the Sustainability Garden at its site just northeast of the Village Café. In dedicating the garden, DSU President Harry Lee Williams noted that vegetables grown on the plot will be served in the Village Café and sold at the DSU’s Farmer’s Market. The surplus will be donated to low-income families in the community.
“It is equally important that this Sustainability Garden will be an outdoor laboratory for our students to learn the full cycle of the food chain from growing, harvesting, selling and contributing to mankind,” Dr. Williams said. “It will beautify an area that would have been desolate after the removal of a temporary building that previously housed the University’s post office and student bookstore.”
The Sustainability Garden is the latest development in DSU’s Go Green Initiative that was launched last September when then-acting DSU President Claibourne Smith signed the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment to lead DSU to climate neutrality. With that pact, DSU joined 650 other universities in committing to reduce the campus’ carbon footprints.
This commitment led to the formation of the DSU Go Green Steering Committee which attracted more than 80 members. Seven subcommittees each play a role in focusing on green environmentally friendly and climate neutral measures that relate to the University’s procurement and fundraising activities, buildings and facilities, as well as in disseminating information about its efforts to the campus community and the surrounding communities.
“The (DSU) colleges, the president and vice presidents, as well as the Student Government Association, are represented on every subcommittee and are actively involved in the greening of DSU,” said Carolyn Curry, DSU vice president of Institutional Advancement.
The DSU Go Green Committee is chaired by Vita Pickrum, DSU associate vice president for development.
More than 30 children from the University’s Child Development Lab took part in the dedication program, reciting an environmental pledge, singing a song, as well as taking part in the planting afterwards. The Sustainability Garden event highlighted a day full of Earth Day activities with a panel discussion, a tour of the DSU Aquaculture Pond Research and Demonstration Facility, and a DSU Lab School Playground Beatification project. The Village Café even served specially prepared “green eggs and ham” to mark the day.
The DSU Earth Days activities will continue on Friday, April 23 with a beautification project at the University Courtyard Apartments complex, a screening of the documentary An Inconvenient Truth at 10:30 a.m. and culminated by a 1:30 p.m. Campus Trees Nature Walk that will begin at the DSU flagpoles near the main gate of the campus.
DSU’s Go Green initiative was featured in the April 19-26 issue of Jet Magazine.