A student works in the garden near the 2600 Building.
Over the last few years people around the world jumped onto the green wagon to save our planet; and over the last year or so they responded to the losses of failed economies. In response to these hardships, more people than ever have turned to planting vegetable gardens to feed their families and their communities. Right now, students at Shoreline Community College are doing their part right here on campus.
This summer, 16 students who are enrolled at Shoreline through the Learning Center North, cleaned out an area near the 2600 building to prepare for planting a vegetable garden – and those veggies will be donated to shelters next spring and summer.
The idea to have students plant a garden came to instructor, Guru Dorje during the summer when he helped plant a community garden in his neighborhood. “I thought about the symbolism of what we were doing - planting seeds, watering the seeds, and taking care of them until they were ready to harvest,” said Dorje, “and I realized it was a perfect vehicle for our students to learn the value of hard work and helping others.”
The Learning Center North is an educational site on campus operated in conjunction with the King County Work Training Program. It serves youth from 16-21 who have not completed high school but who want to earn their GED and go on to college and/or employment. The students find success thanks to the one-on-one help they receive from counselors, staff and instructors, and many go on to earn college certificates and degrees.
Dorje wanted his students to also have the opportunity to have a hands-on activity that would provide them the inherent feeling of success – and to do something to help someone else.
“A lot of our students have not really had the opportunity to give before – so I wanted to give them the opportunity to experience the joy that comes from giving. I wanted them to understand that what they do matters – and it reverberates throughout the community.”
This summer, his students cleaned out the area for the future garden and brought in soil and river stone in preparation for the garden. During fall and winter, they will tend to the soil and keep it healthy during the cold months, eventually preparing it for planting the vegetables and flowers in the spring.
Dorje is pleased that the students in the LCN Program can be a part of the college’s commitment to making Shoreline one of the greenest campuses in the area.
Shoreline is one of the first colleges in the state to offer a solar design program and is currently in the process of expanding a Clean Energy Technology program. The college also has also been credited for having the largest solar-energy installation feeding the grid through Seattle City Light’s system.