At the end of the fall 2011 semester, five volunteer student growers were hired.  It is a great group of UTC students who are enthusiastic about not only the garden itself, but also sustainability.  They will be heavily involved in the development and maintenance of the garden and also participate in sustainability workshops.  Now without further ado, meet the student growers!

Molly Arnold: Sophomore, Psychology

Molly is in the Honors Program, is a board member for the Jeff Roth Cycling Foundation, a nonprofit working to promote bicycle advocacy, the 3-ft law, and provide financial support to injured cyclists, and was part of the S.W.E.A.T crew for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy

“I really like the idea of making UTC a sustainable campus. Similarly, I’ve always wanted to learn how to garden/ grow vegetables, flowers, or really anything, but no one was ever able to teach me. I feel as though gardening is becoming a lost art (which probably explains my lack of luck in finding a teacher of the subject), and I want to be a part of reviving it in the Chattanooga area and beyond. This seems like a really great way to get students involved and offer an education that can’t typically be found on the average college campus, and I don’t want to let it pass me by!”


Sam Marks:

Sam has worked with a grassroots organization regarding urban sprawl research and am currently  interning with a renewable energy general contractor.  He is also currently enrolled in the elective ‘Green Building Rating Systems’ offered in the Construction Management Program.  He is learning a great deal about sustainable energy and hopes to become LEED Accredited.

“Although I have little experience in gardening, I possess an interest in developing and learning the skill. This unique program as it will be a wonderful opportunity for me to further my education and passion for sustainable lifestyles as well as help promote sustainability.”


Bethany Pritchard: Senior, General Biology

Bethany has internship and employment experience at the Greenway Table, a non-profit CSA program that focuses on community-based sustainability, and the importance of food education. She’s also volunteered at Williams Island Farm and at the Fortwood Greenhouse.

She’s interested in this program because  she’d like to advance her knowledge of sustainable agriculture.

“I feel it is extremely important to practice the skills of growing food and maintaining a healthy lifestyle for our community, and being able to educate those who may not have access to fresh, healthy foods on a regular basis. I enjoy gardening at home and find it extremely rewarding to eat something I grew for myself.”


Anastasia Sharp: Senior, Pre-Major

Anastasia has been a belayer at Climb Nashville and says:

“Lately though I have become extremely interested in the environment and learning about agriculture. I grew up in a household with a garden and compost but never really took advantage of the opportunity to help with the garden; although I am quite familiar with many aspects of gardening and the process of composting. The past year or so I’ve been looking for a way to start growing my own food or at least learn how since I am a vegetarian and vegetables are my main food source. I have been planning on interning at an organic farm this upcoming summer of 2012 and it would be great to go into it with some experience already under my belt.

The Sustainability Garden Program is the perfect opportunity for me to get the experience I am looking for. I already have some ideas I hope to share and would love to be selected to be part of such an awesome new project. This program is just what I am looking for at a time when I’ve really been searching for my niche. I am hoping it would help me to figure out finally what I would like to major in, gain some new experience, and be a fun venture in the process. ”


Also, meet the Plot Coordinator and the Assistant Plot Coordinator!

Monika Groppe, Sustainability Garden Coordinator, graduated from UTC in May 2011 with Humanities: International studies degree. Her desire to give back to UTC, experience as a CSA workshare at Crabtree Farms, and interest in sustainability, nutrition, and community involvement wove together in the creation of this project.


Maggie Sauser, Assistant Plot Coordinator: Junior, History

Maggie is a member of the University Honors Program and currently volunteers at the new Chattanooga History Center.  “Over the years I have become more interested in sustainability especially because my mom is an environmental science professor. Therefore, I am really excited to help lead this garden and hopefully we can make UTC a more sustainable campus.”


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