TED Talk shows gardening can affect communities

TED Talk shows gardening can affect communities

Jayda Anderson, News Reporter

Sept. 26, the Student Activity Center was filled with students attending the first TED Talk Tuesday of the year.

The event was put on by the Student Senate and the Office of the Vice President for Enrollment Management & Student Life Work.

This TED Talk Tuesday started out with the group watching a recording of “A guerrilla gardener in South Central LA,” a TED Talk was originally done by Ron Finley, the “gangsta gardner.”

Finely’s TED Talk focused on the unhealthy living that he has seen going on around him and how easy it is to change the unhealthy living through education of the community. He told the audience about a garden that he had planted and how it had sparked discussion within those in his community about their sustainability.

He said “If kids grow kale, kids eat kale,” which emphasized the idea that if someone puts work into something the reward will mean much more to them than something that is store bought.

After watching Finely’s TED Talk there was a discussion that was facilitated by Alison Bettin and Jackson Ramsland, two current Winona State University students.

During the group discussion, a member of the audience mentioned that “Everyone can get involved in [working towards sustainability]. It’s not fancy. It’s not some weird kind of magic.”

Here on campus that statement rings true;

Sustainability Director Nathan Engstrom shared multiple ways that students could get involved.

Engstrom brought up a handful of different school supported programs that will focus on sustainability and related issues. A couple of clubs, projects and organizations that he mentioned included the Environmental Club, the Sustainability Committees, the Sustainability Office, the SEED Garden and the Seed Bank and Library.

Engstrom shared that there is a sustainability minor that students can take at Winona State.

One of the Winona State associated projects that Engstrom brought up was the Winona State Seed Bank and Library. The Winona State Seed Bank and Library is a student ran sustainability-focused ecology capstone project, which was started by Alison Bettin.

When Bettin shared the three components of the Winona State Seed Bank and Library, which are to educate, exchange and preserve. Bettin also explained what the project does.

“[The Seed Bank and Library] has a preservation piece including storage of seeds as well as a seed library in which we have partnered with the City of Winona at the East End Rec Center’s new Community Gardens,” Bettin said.

There are opportunities on campus for students to start their own sustainability projects like the one that Bettin is working on.

“Right now, applications are being accepted for Student Green Fee grants. Anyone can submit a proposal to request funding for their sustainability projects. We have over $37,000 allocated for green fee projects this year,” Engstrom said.

In relation to starting a project like this, there are also smaller sustainability and environmentally driven workshops and speakers that will be visiting Winona throughout the school year. These events will teach people about how they can do things in their personal lives that will benefit the sustainability that Winona State is working towards.