What’s Cultivate R’Space?

Cultivate R’Space is a student collective facilitating educational spaces that allow for critical thinking and an intersectional analysis of our environment. By collaborating, the program connects to theory, service learning, and hands-on garden education in the Riverside Community.

Cultivate R’Space has taken the lead on developing a self-sustaining program by students and for students at the community garden through the mentorship of faculty, staff, administration, and community members of Riverside. The program has been running since 2010, this project continues to be transformed, first to obtain a garden, and now to develop an intersectional curriculum in it.

What’s the Urban Garden Seminar?

We hope to increase awareness about the various social issues related to sustainability of people and the overall environment. Through dialogue, readings, films, and lectures, and garden education, we hope to promote environmental, social, and economic justice in the university by creating a credit course (198-I or PB190) that allows students to be part of a participatory active research and service learning program in Riverside.

The Urban Garden Seminar is a student-led, faculty-mentored course offered every spring quarter (and hopefully every quarter) to raise awareness about our food system through a social justice curriculum and service learning in the community. Students work in the community garden while learning horticulture skills from university and community experts on various topics related to the food system. This 10 week, 2-unit course is meant to train students who are interested in continuing to be part of the garden throughout the summer and upcoming school year.

The History of Cultivate R’Space


  • Funded $25,000 by the Social Innovation Generation grant to study community gardens in the Riverside area with the community non-profit organization, Growcology.
  • This student-led seminar will give students a deeper understanding of our food system using an interdisciplinary, participatory and experiential framework. The students’ research will help the local community by informing groups what gardening techniques do and do not work in order to improve the city’s food system.
  • Research is currently being conducted through Undergraduate Research in the Community with faculty mentors in fields of Soil Science, Anthropology, Women Studies, Botany Science, and Political Science.
  • Currently, about 15 students are in the Urban Garden Seminar 2012 offered in spring, more than 70 signed up to receive updates, more than 200 students have been a part of the program’s events/workshops/seminars, and more than 10,000 students have been reached in Riverside.
  • Goal is to have this seminar running every quarter through the help of a community garden coordinator that can help facilitate the garden education program while faculty, students, and community organizations create seminar pertaining to social justice.



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