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As part of this year’s Earth Day celebration, a ribbon cutting ceremony for Delta State’s Wiley Community Garden was held on Monday, April 22 at noon.
The service was opened by Dr. Barry Campbell, Division of Biological and Physical Science chair.
“What better way for the citizens of Cleveland to get to celebrate Earth Day and to act locally than by opening the Wiley Community Garden,” said Campbell.
President William N. LaForge thanked the Wiley family, those involved with creating the garden, the attending students, and citizens from the community. He spoke about the impact of awareness and efforts of people in Cleveland.
“Earth Day is important. It is important to stop and make sure we all consider the important things we do in our daily lives, whether it is switching off the extra light or driving a fuel efficient car,” said LaForge.
Special remarks were made by Dr. Michael Whelan, alumnus; Keith Fulcher, Foundation director; Julie Wiley Mosow, daughter of Roy and Clara Belle Wiley, and daughter Emily Mosow.
Ryan Betz, Delta Health Alliance project manager, spoke about the economic impact of buying food locally and the opportunities created by programs like the Wiley Community Garden.
“The garden is a strong catalyst for so many things and a huge piece of the puzzle to help our impact on the Earth,” said Betz.
President of Delta State Student Government Association Alanna Ferguson offered a brief history of Earth Day’s foundation and mentioned initiatives currently taken by Delta State for a greener tomorrow: monthly campus clean-ups, the campus recycling program, yearly tree-planting, energy conservation, and sustainable operations.
The ceremony concluded with a garden tour and hors d’oeuvres consisting of items picked fresh from the garden that morning.
The Wiley Community Garden provides a special place that will be useful, attractive, and educational. Many people have dedicated time, resources, or funds to create the garden including: the Art Department faculty, the Division of Biological and Physical Sciences, Facilities Management staff, students and community members, and the Delta Health Alliance Garden Project.
The mission of the Delta State Wiley Community Garden is to educate the Delta State and Cleveland communities on the cultivation of fresh, healthy, local foods and food systems; to preserve campus green space through beautiful, edible landscapes; and to foster collaboration among Delta State and the wider Cleveland community that gratifies the desire to share good food around a common table.
For more information on how to get involved, updates, opportunities, and activities at the Delta State Wiley Community Garden, follow the facebook page at www.facebook.com/dsuwileycommunitygarden