The Community Garden is located at North Lake College central campus. Because of its location, the garden becomes a favorite spot for students to enjoy a peaceful environment and the beautiful views of the college and its lake. This garden is taken care of by officers and members of Phi Theta Kappa Alpha Eta Zeta Chapter with help from other faculty and staff. In 2008, the garden started as our College Project, and in 2016, we included it as part of our College Project, Home Green Home, which was to raise money to upgrade the watering system, sustainability projects, and provides supplies for students to participate in gardening. This project helps not only increase the relationship between the chapter and the college administration but also benefit students and the community. All clean, organic vegetables from this garden are used to provide for low-income students and the Irving community.
After the last harvest of spring 2017, the garden has been facing a fire ant issue that stopped people from working on it. These fire ants spread faster during the summer and hurt some members and officers who participated in gardening. Luckily, even during summer break, the Landscape Services Department was still able to work and help the chapter find the solution for this problem. Staff from this department provided an organic product which would take care of the problem and gave quick instructions about how to apply the product. Following their instructions, our officers took turns in applying the product and checked up with the garden three times per week to make sure that the fire ants were removed. After solving the problem with fire ants within two weeks, our officers started cleaning up weeds, organizing supplies, and planning for the summer harvest.
Working in the community garden is an opportunity for the whole chapter to gain experience about gardening as well as give back to the community. Each person who participates in this project can learn from his/her lessons through hard work, engage with other members and officers, and last but not least, obtain extra hours for volunteer services throughout the year.