Sustainable Campus Landscaping Decal
Project Leads: Diego Jimenez, William Smith, Maya Sachasinh Boone, Hannah Haugenes, Zori Ray
Sponsor: Berkeley Food Institute (BFI)
TGIF Grant: $4,505.00
Project Theme: Environmental Justice
Project Description: The Sustainable Campus Landscaping and Ecological Design DeCal is a seven semesters old course that addresses the inordinately high rate of food insecurity among Berkeley students and specifically BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) students who mostly feel marginalized from existing campus garden spaces. Millions of people worldwide are no longer food sovereign, meaning they don’t have access to growing or eating healthy food, don’t know how to grow food for themselves, or where their food even comes from. This DeCal addresses this by building and maintaining gardens on campus that specifically grow food for BIPOC food-insecure student communities through the course itself and donations to the Berkeley Student Food Pantry. The DeCal intentionally works to empower marginalized students by giving them access to learn in the garden, grow food and medicine, and cultivate community. The class requires hands-on work in the soil for two hours a week while also learning agroecological and urban gardening techniques along the way. The DeCal honors that the gardens and the campus itself are on Huichin Village, sacred territory of the Chochenyo Ohlone people, and emphasize native land stewardship and their role as students in pushing the university to give reparations and return ancestral remains found during the development of the school. Social and racial justice in urban agriculture and food sovereignty is always placed at the forefront of the curriculum as a vessel for restorative justice. Throughout the existence of the DeCal, facilitators have worked tirelessly with campus administration, building managers, campus architects, and campus groundskeeping to legitimize the spaces they have claimed for student food sovereignty. This is an ongoing goal and effort semester to semester and TGIF funds are being used to expand and formalize these garden spaces on campus.
- Cultivate productive food growing spaces on campus to feed food insecure BIPOC student communities
- Honor the sacred territory of the Chochenyo Ohlone people as well as the knowledge of students’ ancestors in growing food
- Create formalized spaces where decolonized curriculum can be taught and shared by BIPOC students between each other and to the greater campus community.