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City and university leaders to celebrate opening of Community Garden at UT Arlington

News Release — 24 March 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media contact: Traci Peterson, (817) 272-9208 or 817-521-5494, tpeterso@uta.edu

ARLINGTON - Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck will join university officials, staff and community volunteers at 10 a.m. Saturday to dedicate the Community Garden at UT Arlington.

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The garden is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between UT Arlington and the city of Arlington. Organizers say the project will strengthen the University’s bonds with the surrounding community while encouraging healthy, more sustainable food options.

“The Community Garden blends our goal of becoming a sustainable campus with the campus master plan to preserve open spaces,” said Meghna Tare, UT Arlington’s sustainability director. “It will provide an opportunity to practice sustainability in everyday life and for adults to pass on to their kids the education about organic gardening and eating healthy.”

At least half of the crops will be donated to a local charity.

Over the past few weeks, volunteers have built almost 80 gardening plots. A tool shed, picnic areas and a rainwater harvesting system are also being constructed. The plots are being assigned this week and spring planting will begin soon.

“While the garden’s ultimate job is to produce healthy food, it also will surely instill a sense of ownership and philanthropy in those who care for it,” said Bill Gilmore, assistant director of Arlington’s Parks and Recreation Department. “Its construction is another example of the city and UT Arlington's commitment to building a vibrant downtown community in central Arlington.

The garden is at the corner of Summit Avenue and UTA Boulevard on the UT Arlington campus. A map is available here.

UT Arlington and the city of Arlington also are partners in the College Park District, a group of construction projects in an area spanning more than 20 acres on campus, from UTA Boulevard to Mitchell Street. When completed, the College Park District will include an $80 million residential and retail development and the 6,500-seat College Park Center. A dedication for The Green at College Park, a park built to meet standards of environmental sustainability, is set for April 5.

John Hall, UT Arlington's vice president for administration and campus operations, and Arlington Councilwoman Lana Wolff are also scheduled to speak at Saturday's dedication.

Visit the Keep Arlington Beautiful Facebook page for more information about the Community Garden.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.