Permaculture garden looks for student voters

By Collegian News Staff

In order to win the White House’s Campus Champions of Change Challenge, the University of Massachusetts Permaculture Initiative is looking for online votes to become one of the five winners, according to a blog post by the student group.

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian
Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

“We feel that this is such an amazing opportunity to bring huge amounts of positive light to permaculture on the international stage – to further promote the environmentally and socially-just food system and world that we all want to see.  And showing it to literally millions and millions of individuals,” read the post.

After one week of the public voting, the garden has accumulated 32,848 votes as of 8:30 p.m. yesterday. This places them in second overall, trailing behind the Food Circle Pantry at the University of Arkansas – an organization that runs a food pantry for in-need students – by 706 votes, according the voting website.

The garden was chosen as one of 15 finalists from a pool of over 1,000 applications, according to the blog post.

If the team wins the award, they will receive a trip to the White House and be featured on MTV’s program “The Dean’s List.”

To vote, people should visit here and make an account. Voting ends Saturday, March 3 at 11:59 p.m.

“I encourage everyone to cast a vote for our campus,” said Chancellor Robert Holub in an email to the campus.

In a two year period, the UMass Amherst Permaculture Initiative has turned the quarter acre of grass lawn outside Franklin Dining Commons, into a garden capable of producing over 500 pounds of food and involving over 1,000 students, faculty and staff, according Holub.

The Initiative has worked with over a dozen local K-12 schools, according to the description on the voting website. The group has also started another garden next to Berkshire Dining Commons, according to Holub.

–         Collegian News Staff