At the back of Tacoma Community College, near the construction of the new Health & Wellness facility, the TCC Community Garden is blooming. Delicate Calla lilies sprout in front of the near one-acre lot. Gardeners have been busily tending to lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and many other vegetables and fruit that were planted in the rich soil earlier this spring. What gardeners need now is sun and time for their harvest to grow.
And, they also need a little bit of a party to celebrate their hard work. TCC, the gardeners and Harvest Pierce County (the non-profit that supports community gardens) recently held a small, informal event near the garden to celebrate how far all three parties have come over the past year. The garden, which was slated to close last year, is now formally part of TCC, and now has an established leadership structure, governance and safety guidelines to ensure its future.
“We had a lot to share and a lot to understand,” said Dr. Sheila Ruhland, TCC President. “I know many of you worked very hard to come together and develop a garden-management plan that will keep this garden safe and viable for years to come.”
The gardeners brought platters of food for everyone to enjoy. Dr. Ruhland, Kristen McIvor of Harvest Pierce County and the gardeners shared their words of how special this garden is, and what good things can happen when people come together for a community effort.
“One of my favorite things about working with community gardens is that they are these places that bring together all the skills and resources from a group of people,” said McIvor. “And you really don’t know what’s going to emerge when you get everyone together, but you know it’s going to be interesting.”
Indeed, it was an interesting process, as representatives from all three parties met over the fall and winter to determine the future of the garden. Once that work established the garden as a formal community garden with Harvest Pierce County, the real work began – sowing the garden and getting it ready for a rich harvest.
“All of the gardeners take so much pride with taking care of this garden, and it shows,” said Dr. Ruhland. “Thank you for your love of this garden, and thank you for being partners with TCC and Harvest Pierce County.”
TCC opened its doors in 1965 to 1,085 students. Fifty years later, the college now serves 13,000 students annually and has received state-wide and national recognition for its innovation programs, including being designated as an Achieving the Dream national leader, listed as one of the top 150 Community Colleges by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program, and a “Top 50” school by Washington Monthly magazine. Our mission of create learning, inspire equity and celebrate success reflects our commitment to student achievement.Print This Post