Welcome to the UMA Community Gardens!
UMA’s Community Gardens are seedbeds for social connection and civic engagement.
Over the last few years, the University of Maine at Augusta Community Gardens have been reborn as educational centers that integrate coursework, research, student clubs, campus events, and outreach to surrounding communities.
In the gardens, growing community and growing food take place side by side. The vegetables we grow are donated to on-campus food closets and off-campus food banks as part of our commitment to address food insecurity in the state of Maine. In this way, the UMA Community Gardens are not just projects for engagement but also for service and justice.
This garden invites everyone, no matter where you come from, what language you speak, what ideas you hold, or what hopes you nurture. You are welcome here.
– James Cook, Associate Professor of Sociology
The Augusta Campus Community Garden
Summer 2022 update: In Summer 2022, the University of Maine at Augusta Community Garden planned to reopen post-pandemic with a session of the SSC 334 Cultivating Community Course. However, due to structural circumstances out of our control related to the physical home of the community garden, we were forced to cancel both the course and the 2022 season for the Augusta campus community garden. Please see the UMA Bangor Community Garden tab this year for opportunities related to civic engagement through gardening.
Visit the UMA Augusta Garden on Facebook or call 207-621-3190 to find out more!
The Bangor Campus Community Garden
The UMA Bangor Community Garden is a space for anyone to explore the world of gardening. Don’t hesitate to get involved! Can you dig it?
We have been approved to move forward with the garden this year! We’ve developed safety protocols, and they are posted below. Looking forward to seeing everyone out there! (But no more than 10 at a time, and with at least 6 feet social distancing…)
Bangor Garden Covid-19 Safety Plan
Adopted April 5, 2020
This plan outlines the steps we intend to take to ensure the safety of our produce and our volunteers in the wake of COVID-19. We will comply with all CDC social distancing and hygiene regulations, and minimize the handling of produce as much as possible.
We believe that our garden program is absolutely essential in the time of COVID-19, as we supply food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens and food security programs. All of our recipient organizations are begging for food supplies in the wake of the mass layoffs and furloughs that have occurred, and we would argue that our UMA Bangor Community Garden (both the Shire and Labyrinth gardens) are more needed now than they have ever been in recent history.
We plan to deliver to all of our recipients that we did last year. Additionally, our partner organization Peace and Justice Center has opened a temporary food pantry in their space to help supply food to people in need as a result of this crisis.
- To maintain our program so that we may continue to supply fresh produce to seven food security programs in the area, which are experiencing a drastically increased need due to COVID-19.
- To protect our volunteers and recipients from any possible exposure to COVID-19 as much as we can by enacting all CDC protocols to ensure minimal contact, both in produce processing and in produce delivery.
COVID-19 Protocol Plan
We intend to enact the following steps to ensure the safety of our volunteers and recipients. These safety guidelines will be updated accordingly to stay in line with any future updates to the CDC recommendations, federal and state guidelines, or UMA or UMS policies.
- At no time will the number of volunteers working in the garden exceed 10 people, as per the federal guideline.
- Volunteers will wear garden gloves at all times to minimize contact and garden gloves will be regularly washed in a bleach dilution (after each work session).
- Volunteers will maintain a 6 ft social distancing buffer as per the CDC recommendation.
- Volunteers will wear cloth masks as per the recent CDC recommendation.
- Volunteers who are ill (of any sort, not just COVID) will be asked to remain home.
- All produce will be washed and packaged onsite. If necessary, we are amicable to the idea of seeking an organic, food-safe dilution to wash them if that will help to eliminate any viral threat.
- All deliveries will be dropped curbside (with prior appointment) to our recipient pantries in unopened packages, to be delivered within 48 hours of harvesting.
- If not possible to deliver the produce to recipients on the day of harvest, the produce will be stored either onsite at UMA or, if no space is available, at the Peace and Justice Center’s food pantry (reserved for other recipients) which is known to the coordinators to be practicing all CDC safety protocols.
- Volunteers delivering produce will wear cloth masks and gloves during all delivery, and immediately wash hands following completion of delivery.
Please use this contact form to find out more about the UMA Community Gardens.
Cultivating Community: The Garden Seminar
Spring of 2016 marked the first offering of SSC 334, Cultivating Community: The Garden Seminar. This course applies theory and research in sociology and psychology to the practice of growing a community garden, but also to the challenge of growing a successful student organization that supports and sustains the garden. In the process of increasing food security and building a better community, students gain skills in academic analysis, organizing, mobilizing, framing and (yes!) gardening.
If you’d like to know more about a future section of the Augusta class, contact Dr. Cook (e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org). If you’d like to know more about a future section of the Bangor class, contact Dr. Corlew (e-mail email@example.com). We look forward to hearing from you.