FAMU returns to roots of urban agriculture


On Friday, Nov. 17, The Hub officially opened its doors to FAMU and the community.

The Hub is the new outside garden located near the recreational center and The Marching 100’s practice field. The garden is now open to students and non-students Monday 10 a.m.- 12 p.m. and Friday 12 p.m.-3 p.m., but the campus and community are more than welcome to cultivate and partake in the numerous gardening activities the Hub has to offer at their leisure.

Last year, FAMU was entered in the annual “Retool Your School” contest hosted by Home Depot and won a $30,000 grant for The Hub. The “Retool Your School” contest is an annual contest that was created to give back to HBCUs across the nation and with the help from Home Depot, the winners of the grants will have the opportunity to make improvements to their campus. The Home Depot grant assisted FAMU in purchasing wood, mulch, shovels, and other materials for the numerous gardening activities that will be held at the Hub.

According to Bakari McClendon, Sustainability Institute’s Campus and Community Engagement Coordinator, “FAMU Sustainability Institute is an interdisciplinary division under the office of research that looks to find solutions to the local and global challenges facing our planet, nation, and people. We are focusing on the three E’s, equity, environment, and the economics, all three of those things have to be in balance in order to have true sustainability.”

The institute volunteers The Hub as an outdoor classroom, learning lab, and meeting space for all majors and disciplines.

McClendon added, “We are branding the space as The Hub because it fits with a number of our initiatives that we are implementing on campus. The first is that The Hub is the center, it is where everything connects; it is where all disciplines, all majors, faculty, staff, and community come to create solutions that are facing our local and global community. It can be a hub of innovation.”

Kathryn Ziewitz, interim Executive Director of the Sustainability Institute says, “Gardens grow more than just the fruits and vegetables; they grow a community. So I really believe in that. I’m really happy that we have a beautiful site. When students are stressed out they can go to this quiet place and they can tinker around in the soil and do something that benefits their mind, body, and soul.”

Students Halimah Wynn, Mikela Pryor and Lourdes Perez Cordero say they are all excited for the launching of the Hub.