Loved the garden so much Talisha put in extra hours!

Overall, the service learning assignment was truly an amazing experience. After working in the garden and completing my 10 hours, I came back an extra day because I had so much fun learning how to build an organic garden and meeting new people who attend UWF. The end result from this experience has made me a better individual by becoming more aware of nature and learning what I can do to make a difference.

Cleaning up a church yard for service learning!

One of the several lessons Jordyn related to this service learning project:

Chapter 6: Ecosystems and Nutrient Cycling relays the message that everything in an ecosystem replies on each other. The animals rely on the plant life, while the plant life relies on the animals. Ecosystems go full circle. While cleaning up the shrubbery and flora in the garden, this lesson came to mind. Although no animals other than birds and maybe rabbits inhabit this garden, this garden community relies on each other. The grassy areas were being taken over by weeds, the shrubs had overgrown, and the flowers had died. The bee community that inhabited
this garden had to move, due to the loss of flowers they were feeding off. The grass was not getting the sunlight it needed with the overgrown shrubs covering it up and the weed takeover. This prayer garden is supposed to be lively and a happy place to go, but it seemed more dead than anything else. After sprucing up the yard, things seem to be going much better. The grass is still alive and everything is clean. Again, this is a smaller scenario, but made me realize an ecosystem is not only a big grassland, prairie, or rainforest. An ecosystem can be in your own back yard. Everything relies on each other.

Service Learning at the new UWF garden by Monica

Service Learning
1.) I was given the opportunity to work with the UWF Garden Club. Their mission is, to build community at UWF and in the surrounding region. To promote food sustainability and security by creating an alternative to the industrial system of food production. To teach UWF students, faculty, staff and other how to grow food locally and organically. To encourage healthy eating by increasing access to fruits and vegetables. To increase respect and concern for the natural world. To help students develop leadership and community-building skills.
2.) Throughout the time that I was volunteering at the garden, I did various things. For example, all the volunteers took turns laying down cardboard to kill of the smaller plants. We also dug a trail where we would connect tubes to carry water throughout the garden. We raked dirt as well as mulch all throughout the garden to even everything out proportionately as well as create a god place for the fruits and vegetables to grow on.
3.) Chapter 1: Environmental Literacy relates to the work we did in many ways. For example, as previously mentioned, the volunteers laid down cardboard. The cardboard was used to kill off all the plants that were too small to be cut down. For example, weeds, grass and smaller plats of that sort. It especially relates to chapter 1 because instead of using chemicals to kill of all the plants, a more natural way was used to kill off the plants. The cardboard is biodegradable so it will do its job for a temporary time and then give the chance for other plants to be grown without damaging the soil and making it loose all it’s nutrients.
4.) Another way the volunteer work related to the lessons learned in this course is that the garden being built is going to be an all natural garden. Instead of using electricity they are using a one hundred percent natural source, the sun. So no extra electricity will be used. As well as they will not be using any other unnatural things like pesticides that are full of chemicals. The plants and fruits will be grown one hundred percent natural to make sure they do not cause nay harm to the environment.
5.) All us volunteers removed the invasive species that were in the environment. An invasive species is a species that is not native to that environment. Invasive species are harmful to the environment because they can over consume and/or throw off the natural ecosystem of that area. We did that by cutting and removing the larger plants and as mentioned previously we used cardboard to remove the rest of the smaller plants. The information of invasive species can be found in Chapter 10: Evolution and Extinction.
6.) During my service learning experience I developed skills like leadership and learning to commit to the work that I was doing to get it done in the most efficient way. It also helped me work on my team skills since we did have to do many things as a group to get things accomplished as fast as possible and the best way possible. These are great skills to obtain for my profession or any profession anyone decides to pursue.