Week 3 Reflection

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Please answer one or both questions below in preparation of Week 4 in the Seminar! 

1. For those of us who were able to make it to Child Leader Project event at the Arlanza Community Garden, what did you learn? Was there any specific part of the program throughout the day which we can bring back to UCR in upcoming weeks?

2. During Week 3, we also discussed action ideas and changes we would like to see on our campus. Here is the list of ideas mentioned and organization/department who we can collaborate with:

  • Healthier Food Choices from HUB (Dining Services)
  • Outreach and Advocacy for Community Garden (Letters, Articles, Radio, Press, Art)
  • Improving Recycling, Composting, and Waste Reduction (Office of Sustainability)
  • Creating more Sustainability Student Internships (ASUCR)
  • Hosting Food Education Workshops on campus (the WELL) or at local community center
  • Bringing back the Farmers’ Market (Dining Services)
  • Hosting Recipe-Sharing + Dinner Nights
  • Hosting Film Screening Nights
  • Bringing Goodwins on Campus (the WELL)
  • Creating a Healthy Food Map for Students
  • Improving Bike Lanes on and off Campus

We will be planning our action during Week 4. Does one particular action idea or any other not mentioned here grab your attention? What do you envision for the outcome? How do you see yourself being a part of this action?

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20 thoughts on “Week 3 Reflection

  1. 1. Yesterday was a very inspiring day. It warmed my heart to see such dedication the good folks of CLP and the high school students from Norte Vista have in the urban garden especially since many of the individuals mentioned how the garden was vital in dispelling the negative generalizations the community has gotten over the years. For that, the most valueable lesson I learned yesterday was that hardwork requires time to be successful and I am hoping and sending positive vibes to all of the wonderful people involved in the Arlanza Community Garden as I can see the unity each of the people involved in the garden is a strong one that will be very difficult to break apart. One thing of the event that I think would be a good idea to take into UCR the upcoming weeks is to maybe dedicate some time talking about the differences of plants with GMO and without it since I had no idea about the dangers of GMO plants until the presentation yesterday. In addition, I wouldn’t want to see the day that any of the plants I grow to be GMO injected in any shape or form.

    2. While I think that all of the ideas are incredible, the ideas of the Farmer’s Market’s return on campus as well as find a possible way to bring Goodwins on campus brought my attention. The reason behind this is because I think it is very important that we bring a lot more visibility with healthier options on campus and I am somewhat biased in this since I loved the Farmer’s Market when it was available on campus. While it will be difficult to accomplish in the next six weeks (which are my final six weeks in UCR) for big changes to be created, but I would hope that maybe in these six weeks we somehow get the word out by outreach about this topic. I am also a firm supporter on creating outreach and advocacy for the community garden because it seems that after the talk on Thursday it seems that while we have great support of faculty and orgs in support of the garden, I think by creating outreach about the garden itself not only will hopefully the garden be able to have a permanent, and hopefully visible space on campus but with the increased advocacy on the garden, it will hopefully grab the higher ups pay attention and actually give members of Cultivate R’Space a chance to speak on the importance of a garden. If UCR would really want to convey that are becoming a more “sustainable” campus, they should put their money where their mouth is and make the investment in the community garden one of the priorities in “sustaining” the campus. It’ll be difficult but every great accomplish requires time and commitment. I don’t want to see the idea of a full-bloom garden available on campus to die because of silence.

  2. I was unable to make it to this Fridays meeting, but I was able to make it last week (the first meeting). One thing that I would bring back would have to be the idea of making the garden known. Not many people know about the garden, therefore they are unable to help. There are hundreds of people on campus who would love to be a part of the garden but they simply can not because they have no idea. In Arlanza, most of the community was aware that they had a garden, thus giving them the ability to help. The fact that the entire community was involved, I believe, was what made it possible.

    The one idea or suggestion that I see myself being involved with is the healthier options for students. They (by they i am referring ro he HUB), have healty food” that is not all that healthy. Eating healthy does not mean just eating a salad. I would love to be a part of the choosing of the food for the menu. Or maybe even just letting people know that they are other options.

  3. An idea that grabs my attention is Improving Recycling, Composting, and Waste Reduction (Office of Sustainability). I believe that this is very important for our campus. We should educate ourselves of what recycling and composting means in order to put our waste in the right container. Many of us when getting rid of our waste we are not sure where it goes. Therefore, knowing this is vital for the successes of a sustainable UCR. I see myself as someone who could educate herself on this subject in order to help others understand were waste goes exactly.

  4. The action idea I’d like to see us work towards is having Goodwins on campus. I think administration has too much of a say on what should be and what shouldn’t be on campus when really it is the students who should decide because we are the ones eating the food. Having goodwins on campus would be good exposure to some better alternative and if the students want it on campus then administration would have to consider eat. This would also be a great opportunity to incorporate food education. For example, whenever a student came to buy something from goodwins there could be posters surrounding the vicinity that gave facts about picking this instead of panda express. The role I can take in this action item is creating surveys to get a better picture of what student want to eat on campus, if they like goodwins, and asking them if they’d like to see goodwins as a permanent schools food option. This then could be a step towards raising food awareness and perhaps making goodwins get a spot on campus.

  5. The event on Saturday was very heartwarming and inspiring because it showed that if this community can come together for something like this so can other communities. It was great seeing everything that was worked so hard for come to life and to be apart of such a monumentous day for that community.

    Something I’d like to see happen here at UCR would be having Goodwin’s and/or the farmer’s market return to campus. UCR prides itself in being a eco-friendly campus but they seem to forget the food aspect of the environment. It’s frustrating wanting something to eat on campus and having no healthy, organic options. I believe that growing food on campus and using it in the food that is prepared as well as selling it will help students break bad eating habits because there will be options available.

  6. I agree with the ideas my classmates have mentioned so far! I would like to emphasize what Laura mentioned about making our project visible to the UCR population. This is something that we see in the community garden at Arlanza as the community puts on events every month to get continuous energy…amazing! How do we make our project visible and alive even whether students commute or live on campus? How do we push this forward even without land or some place to call the UCR garden (just yet)? What we are doing right now is powerful, even writing about this means something is changing and we want more change from this university. We also have a good understanding that nothing will change unless we do it ourselves and that’s what this seminar is about.

    I am excited for the upcoming days ahead in the seminar, organizing, acting, and highlighting our frustration and passion for making this possible as a team of dedicated students. I am particularly interested in using art, music, theatre, to raise awareness about our community garden project, and using permaculture techniques to create our garden(s) on this campus 😉

    Here is a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onsOQ2QF2G0 for motivation.

    love,
    eli

  7. These are all great ideas and I can’t wait to get started! It was really cool to see one of these ideas already being carried out in the HUB this week by Niharika Saxena. I’m sure she, and the rest of the volunteers did a great job in helping improve recycling, composting, and waste reduction. And I’m sure they had a lasting impact on many UCR students who were eating at the HUB this week.

    As far as healthier food choices go, did you guys notice that we will have a Subway next to Coffee Bean pretty soon? So I’m sure that’s a good start 🙂 But it doesn’t end there! I’d really really really really like to have a farmer’s market at UCR. And wouldn’t it be awesome if we could start our own farmer’s market with fruits and veggies directly from our own garden? I can definately see myself in a little stand by the clock tower yelling, “Yummy, delicious tomatoes! carrots! potatoes! for sale! Straight from R’ garden!

  8. I agree with Marisol, a lot of great ideas were presented and can be acted upon. I really the idea of bringing Goodwin’s on campus and creating a food map.. A Goodwin’s on campus would be a step in the right direction. The store would set a new standard for eating on campus. Healthier alternatives should be prioritized because good health is important.

    A food map would be a powerful tool because it would give everyone an idea of all the places they could go eat. In my previous experiences eating out I was unaware of what other restaurants where in the area. If I found a healthier alternative at a reasonable price I would definitely eat there instead.

  9. Recycling methods should definitely improve around campus. There are many things (made of plastic) that we throw away that will ultimately take thousands of years to break down in our landfills. All of those materials should be recycled to avoid unnecessary waste and prevent the use of more of our natural and nonrenewable resources.

    Hosting film screenings would serve as great way to bring students together and educate the community about a variety of topics relating to the environment.

    Being an avid bicyclist, I would definitely likely to see improvements and additions made to bike lanes around campus. Bicycle use should also be encouraged to get people thinking about alternatives to driving gasoline powered vehicles everywhere they need to go.

  10. One of the action ideas that caught my attention is bringing back the farmers market to UCR. I used to stop by the farmers market when it was in UCR to buy some of the fresh fruits for snacks. The prices were also very reasonable for college students. I also liked Marisol’s idea on starting our own farmer’s market. Growing the food in the R’Garden would be a fun experience and we could also share it with the college community.
    Another action idea that caught my attention was improving the bike lanes on and off campus. I would love to bring my bike to school, however I am afraid that I would collide with a pedestrian by accident or get hit by car due to the poorly structured bike lanes provided. Having better bike lanes would probably encourage more students to bike to short distance, such as the University Village instead of driving there. It is also a great way to get exercise and discover new places around Riverside.

  11. I really love the idea of a farmers market on campus. If we could actually take over part of campus and get better visibility we could actually get people on campus involved in healthy food/ activities every week.
    Another one that sounded just wonderful was converting the quad into our garden space. Now that is a way to get attention and campus involvement. plus its a way to beauty up campus more. The main part of campus does not have enough green stuff. Just sayin’…
    One more idea I have is putting together some stats about little changes we can make in our daily lives, like using a reusable water bottle of choosing to compost correctly and how if a significant portion of the population did something simple, the impact could be huge. but that one might take more work and some difficult web statistic researching… but it would be a good eye catcher in the hub or other high traffic areas.

  12. 1. I learned that it’s a lot of hard work to get a garden started…especially when you have to dig in clay. But I’ve learned that it’s important to be organized when planning a garden and that takes a lot of time. I think having a garden it so important though, not only does it represent sustainability but healthy living and community. Getting the garden to flourish here on campus will be a lot of work but it will be worth it; seeing people come out to the Arlanza garden and listening to the music, eating food, and having peoples kids run around is what community is supposed to be but I feel that in big cities it gets lost. The Arlanza garden brought together the community and people probably walked away more interested in the garden.

    We would just have to get more people interested in the garden at UCR by showing them what a garden represents and what it can produce. So the main thing I feel is getting peoples support and interest in getting this garden going! 🙂

  13. I had a lot of fun at the Arlanza Garden. Working with all the volunteers was a fun experience and it was great to meet so many people young and old who were interested in giving back to the community. It is great to see your vision shared with so many people. I loved the workshops and the hands on nature of it. I wish that a lot of the seeding ones would have been more hands on because then I think you would remember more and the ideas wouldn’t seem still so abstract. I wish there was more of a workshop on solar energy and how it can be used in the garden or at home even if it is just how solar power works and maybe place solar lights in the garden for the evening or how to use a solar oven. Maybe even how to make your own with cardboard with the kids to make something as simple as smores I think would have been a great activity for the kids. It is great to see so many kids interested in helping their community. But, it is still so sad to see that few people from the public really knew what was going on in the park. I think better advertisement was needed for it. I think that is also an issue that we face on our campus and more awareness and the explanation for its relevance to the campus community needs to be brought up if we really want to make a difference on campus.

  14. When i went on that Sunday, I was confused because I was the only one from the internship who had went, but then I realized that everybody had come the day before, and was too tired to come back the next day. Overall, i enjoyed it very much, because it was fulfilling cleaning up the garden, because it looked like nobody had worked on that piece of land in a long time. And i also met some nice people, who were interested in helping the garden, mostly consisting of La Sierra University.

    The film screening nights seemed fun, but I was unable to go because I had to drive back to see my parents that weekend. Hopefully, we have another movie night that I am able to go to.

  15. I like the ideas of hosting food education events and bringing in a healthier food establishment for the students at UCR. We are a university and we must show that we do value proper nutrition habits and ways in which we can incorporate this into our everyday life, whether on or off campus. This gives the campus a better chance of appealing to students with those concerns instead of merely providing random fast food establishments that only offer taste but no actual nutrition. Doing this also encourages the student to carry on habits that would greatly benefit them in their later lives, and even pass them on to there friends and loved ones. Making a change to the health of the general populace has to start somewhere, why not here?

  16. I went on Saturday and it was a really great experience. I really enjoyed the workshops they had where we learned about how to plant, what seasons are good for what plant, how to transplant plants, etc. It was really informative and at the end of the workshop, I got a free cilantro and basil plant. I think it would be great if we could have workshops like this at UCR. I think a lot of people would be interested, especially with the upcoming plans for the community garden.

    I really like improving waste diversion, bringing back the farmers market, and bring Goodwins on campus. I envision UCR has a completely waste free campus in the future where students, faculty, and staff are all informed about sustainable waste diversion practices and why its important. I also love the idea of having locally grown available for students to purchase as locally grown is one of the categories for determining “real food.” And Goodwins would be a great way to easily bring healthy food options on campus and I think that would be a great short term goal in changing our campus.

  17. Being a part of the Arlanza community project was beyond rewarding and humbling. I love how the community came together for the day to clean up the surrounding garden and began to plant fruits and vegetables for their future well being. I hope to continue working with them. seeing the garden flourish and seeing the community grow stronger.

    I particularly hope that we make our efforts known in regards to our garden. We need to let UCR students and faculty know that we want our garden and the benefits of having one. By getting the word out there people are more susceptible in responding and joining our cause. We just have to persistent and maybe creating a hands on ge class on the benefits of healthy eating.

  18. I was not able to make it out to the Child leader project for the garden but a couple ideas that really stood out to me were being able to have healthier food choices at the HUB, bringing back farmers market, and bringing in local food places like goodwins to sell their food at UCR. I think the reason these stood out to me the most is because I personally and as a student I would eat more at the HUB if there were better choices, we do have certain choices like soy chicken which isnt too bad. My freshman year at UCR I always enjoyed going to the farmers market on campus, they had really good organic chocolate pudding. And I feel its unfair that UCR doesnt allow goodwins food truck to go on campus, UCR would be a better school if they just allowed local places to nourish it instead of relying on bigger companies. I really think the community would benefit.

  19. Hey everyone,

    I believe that many of the alternatives given are great, but one thing that should be done and more heavily emphasized on would be raising awareness as we did at the belltower. Many people don’t know that this is an issue, or if they do they don’t know the gravity of it. Getting Goodwins on campus and having healthier food choices is definitely a great idea, but without having people know why they should pay more for their healthier alternatives it won’t get very far as students/people tend to see $$$ before anything else. Through raising awareness and educating the people we would definitely be able to get more momentum for our cause. I see myself as helping to inform the general public, I love to talk and I don’t mind asking people for help or sharing some information with them that can help our cause. Having a petition, just like the one we did, was very beneficial and it helps to show everyone just how much support we have. It also helps to pique the interest of those that don’t know. One area that I would love to see happen is creating more Sustainability Student Internships as that would pull in candidates that are interest in the subject and would help to improve the sustainability of the UGS (keep people coming in).

    Take care,
    -Izzy

  20. I think we should make this action heard everywhere, via radio and press. Contacting kucr and highlander would be an effective way to expose and legitimize the event. Though time consuming, going to big lecture halls, like lower div classes to deliver a pitch and flier would be good. Sometimes, people need to see more than just a poster.
    Also, contacting a farmers market would be neat, to ask people to try real food and then request the HUB to offer good food for the prices they are charging. This one might be tough to translate without being too demanding. I say this, because I don’t think we should be too rallied up since it might close opportunities or impede future connections with other entities on campus.
    Bringing in goodwins would be easy and effective too. I really like the idea of film nights and food. Its like a continuation to the seminar. I think we should focus on tangible easy wins first to be able to come up with a strategic and detailed plan to these more time consuming action items. We definitely though, have got to get student facilitator positions for next year to continue on the seminar. Perhaps out of UGRC office. For example,
    Also, I would just like to mention since the UC system’s budget has been sliced and keeps getting smaller and smaller every year. I think, it would be kind of neat to come up with some solution that would empower students to get quality education and food for an affordable price.

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