Archived: Community Garden: a first-year perspective

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Have you ever considered getting involved with the Community Garden or the SAMRU Sustainability Centre? We chatted with Stephanie Melville who completed her first year at MRU during the 2013-14 academic year, and learned a little bit more about why she got involved. Read more to learn how she got involved, why, and what she’s hoping to get out of the experience!

Getting involved

After three years of university in Victoria, Stephanie Melville came to Mount Royal University to join the Public Relations program within the department of Communications in the fall of 2013. “On the first day I went to orientation” and “when it was over, I explored the university on my own and stumbled into the Sustainability Centre” she recalled. Stephanie met with Sustainability Centre Coordinator Alana-Dawn Eirikson, who shared with her some of the programs in the centre, and then took her on a tour to the Mount Royal University Greenhouse – a part of our campus that many students don’t even know exists. After that chance meeting, Stephanie opted to volunteer for the centre, located on the third floor of Wyckham House.

Real-time experience

“During the first semester I took a major role with organizing the Create a Better Now conference” commented Melville, who added that it was fun, interesting, and best of all the experience gave her the opportunity to meet and work with a wide variety of people and expand her personal and professional network. “It was a good learning experience”she added, as one of her jobs was facilitating the inclusion of expert presenters who spoke on a variety of topics during the week-long event, a great experience for a budding Public Relations professional.

New to gardening

“After Create, I took a month off from volunteering” she recalled, adding that after a brief break, she returned to the Sustainability Centre to start getting ready for the Community Garden. Some of this included planning the garden, learning about the garden, and getting plants ready in the greenhouse. “I tried gardening myself; I’m really not a gardener” as a recent arrival to Calgary and our unique growing season, she added that it was drastically different from trying to garden in Victoria on Canada’s more temperate west coast.


Read more

Want to read more about a first-year perspective on the Community Garden from volunteer Stephanie Melville? Check back on July 7th, 2014 when we’ll have part two from my interview.

In the meantime, you can learn more about the Community Garden on the SAMRU website:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

By Dawn Linnemoller, Editor & Content Coordinator, SAMRU