U of S students upset school took away community garden

Students say they've been growing produce in the plot of land for years. The university says the garden lacked structure.

University says garden lacked structure.

U of S Graduate Student, Jinnat Asfana, wants the community garden back. (Madeline Kotzer/CBC News)

A group of University of Saskatchewan students say they are upset because the school has shut down their independent community garden and taken away their ability to grow fresh produce.

For the past few years, students who live in the school residences at McEowen Park have created and tended to a make-shift community garden in the area`s greenspace.

But this year, the U of S told them they were not allowed to have the garden anymore.

George Foufas, Associate Director of Consumer Services, says the university needed to take time to decide what to do with the space and make a plan.

George Foufas is the Associate Director of Consumer Services at the U of S. (CBC News)

"One of the reasons we wanted to look at some new principles and guidelines for the space was [because] we did have issues in the past with usage and ownership of the space and how it was managed," Foufas said. "And really it wasn't managed in the fact that students managed it themselves."

Jinnat Asfana, a Graduate Student studying Community Health and Epidemiology at the U of S and lives in Souris Hall at McEwoen Park, says she misses her plot in the garden.

"I am also upset because I had a plan to garden in this area too," Afsana said.

Other tenants of McEwoen Park told CBC News the ability to grow their own produce with their neighbours created a sense of community, while cutting down on the cost of groceries.

The McEwoen Park residencies' community garden used to be located here, in the Park's greenspace. (CBC News)

"Last summer I grew lots of tomatoes and zucchini and cucumber, and they are really nice," Afsana said.

Afsana said she and others want the garden back in time for this summer's growing season.

However, U of S officials say that while the space might be used for gardening again in the future, it won't happen this year. 

In the meantime, the university has invited affected students to use Varsity View's community garden nearby.


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