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U of M’s Community Garden Wins State Environmental Stewardship Award

For release: July 9, 2012
For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey, 901-678-2843

The University of Memphis’ Tigers Initiative for Gardening in Urban Settings (TIGUrS) has been selected to receive the 2012 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award. One of 11 winners, the community garden project was recognized in the Excellence in Environmental Education and Outreach/Schools category.

The Environmental Stewardship awards recognize voluntary efforts that improve or protect Tennessee’s environment and natural resources with projects not required by law.

TIGUrS serves as a community model for demonstrating responsible, affordable environmental stewardship through proven urban agricultural methods. The garden project was started as a sustainability initiative to get students more involved in growing their own food. Several harvest days are held each year, and faculty, staff, and students can visit the garden at any time to pick produce that is in season. A variety of fruits, herbs, and vegetables are available in the main garden, located just east of the Elma Roane Fieldhouse.

The initiative not only offers a setting for learning sustainable agriculture, but also provides participants with high-quality, organically grown foods at no cost. The TIGUrS model can be applied almost anywhere in the community. Volunteers get hands-on experience with soil reclamation and improvement, organic pest and disease management, and environmentally conscious structure design and usage.

The garden was launched in 2009 by Karyl Buddington, director of U of M Animal Care Facilities, and a team of volunteers.

TIGUrS is the first and only student grant-funded program of its kind offered at no cost and without restriction by a state university in Tennessee.

The Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards are presented by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. The awards ceremony will be held in Nashville Aug. 24.

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