Burlington College will be providing free garden space to at least 30 families from the Somali and Burundi communities as part of the College’s newly launched Sustainability and Urban Gardening Project.
The community is invited to join the Mayor Miro Weinberger, Somali Bantu Community Association of Vermont, Executive Director, Mohamed Abdi, Burlington College Vice President Christine Plunkett and organizer-faculty Jared Carter at the ground-breaking ceremony. Dozens of members of the Somali and Burundi community, who will be using the plot at Burlington College’s new Urban Garden Space, will be attending the Wednesday, May 16 2012 at 11:00 a.m. gathering behind Burlington College student housing - 349 North Avenue Burlington, Vermont.
In keeping with the College’s growing reputation of being an academic institution that values civic and community engagement, the project will not only provide a space for growing fresh vegetables in the summer, but also a place where the immigrant community can come together to participate in a host of activities. From workshops for children to academic credit for Burlington College student participants, the Sustainability and Urban Gardening Project will be a place for connecting students and community members to local agriculture.
Mohamed Abdi , Executive Director of the Somali Bantu Community Association of Vermont  and a Burlington College student explains that “the need for this sort of program is great.” “Somali Bantu families are excited about growing their own food and we are looking forward to developing innovative programs for children, college students and community members so that this new Urban Gardening Project can really enrich the community and neighborhood.” Abdi adds.
Jared Carter  explains that “the vision for this project is based on Burlington College’s mission of civic engagement.” Adding that, “a collaboration of this sort will include students from the College and can help bring the goals of sustainability and vibrant communities to the fore.” “with Burlington College’s new campus, we are in a unique position to be able to offer the space that is needed as well as the programming that will help promote the next generation of Urban farmers.”
People interested in being involved should contact faculty Jared Carter at Burlington College 802.923.2390  or jcarterburlington [dot] edu. To enroll in Carter’s class - Sustainability and Urban Gardening Project contact Burlington College’s Admissions Office at 800.862.9616 .