The Heritage Garden
President: Matthew Tirapelli
Faculty Advisor: Tyler Zarubin
The Heritage Garden aims to cultivate community by providing students with opportunities to learn, serve, and lead as they apply “ecosystem gardening” techniques to habitat restoration and food production at the campus community garden.
- Students will learn as they participate in all aspects of ecosystem gardening: building healthy soil, using water wisely, attracting beneficial wildlife (via use of native plants), growing food crops, and recycling green waste.
- Students will serve by working the land as well as donating food from the garden to local food banks.
- Students will lead by sharing their knowledge about the benefits of sustainable land use with others.
Where People and Plants Grow Together
In this place an out-of-the-way slope on the north side of campus, an area over-run with invasive mustard and other weedy species—the Concordia community is coming together to learn about and practice sustainable gardening methods and native habitat restoration.
In this time of water shortage and habitat loss, of ignorance about the nature of the places we live and work—the creation of The Heritage Garden provides an opportunity (for students, faculty, and staff) to learn and share with campus, city, and county neighbors what it means to truly inhabit a place—to be a good steward of the land and a partner with our fellow creatures who also make their homes here.
In this way by practicing “ecosystem gardening,” we can make a place where the soil is healthy; where native plants provide food and shelter for birds, butterflies, and other pollinators; and where vegetables and fruits can be raised in sustainable ways.
The Heritage Garden brings together a variety of academic disciplines as students and faculty work together on the following projects:
- Restoring habitat and developing botanically themed areas that celebrate the diverse—and endangered—landscapes of California (e.g. oak woodland, Channel Island, chaparral, coastal sage scrub).
- Growing vegetables and fruits sustainably.
- Cultivating and learning how to use plants of cultural importance to local Native Americans—plants used for food, shelter, clothing, tools, medicine, and ceremonies, both in the past as well as currently.
- Cultivating California native plants that contribute key sustainability elements to contemporary Orange County urban landscapes—elements such as water conservation, fire resistance, erosion control, wildlife habitat, and aesthetic value.
- Thinking and writing about the importance of place.
- Using the Heritage Garden as an outdoor classroom for a variety of both science and humanities classes, presentations, and performances.
Assistant Professor of Biology
Heritage Garden Coordinator
Follow The Heritage Garden for updates on work days and special community events.