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Greg Page Community Garden Educational Enhancement Project​ | OPRO Meets Erica Fealko​

Erica Fealko is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Kentucky.

Science outreach activity: Greg Page Community Garden Educational Enhancement Project.

Workshop moderator, Mohammad Alsabri, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Horticulture, speaks during a Facebook Live workshop. The ​​workshop topic, Weed Management, was hosted by Lucas A​​raujo, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Integrated Plant and Soil Science.

An example of the garden improvements made. Five Pawpaw trees were donated by Kentucky State University and were planted by the group. Left to right: Lauren Fann (a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Entomology), Mohammad Alsabri, Lucas Araujo; kneeling: Erica Fealko; bottom: a gardener from the program.

An example of the garden improvements made. One of two new pollinator gardens comprised of native Kentucky plants. The plants were provided by the University of Kentucky Horticulture Club.

Type of event: A series of workshops, one-on-one assistance, and general community garden improvements.

Intended audience: Community gardeners, including graduate students and their families. Workshops were also available to the general public through Facebook Live.

Description of the activity: The Greg Page building complex is comprised of graduate students and their families from a variety of different cultural backgrounds. This community has a common garden space, but most of the residents do not have an agricultural background and can find it difficult to properly manage their garden plots. To address these needs, the group, which consists of graduate students from horticulture, plant and soil science, entomology, and plant pathology, created a series of workshops that educate the gardeners on the basics of garden management and introduce plants that may be successfully cultivated in the Kentucky environment. In addition to providing the gardeners with the knowledge necessary to successfully initiate and maintain garden plots, we also provided equipment, general garden improvements, and a chance for graduate students involved in the development of the project to gain experience in extension and outreach.​

Materials needed for this activity: Hands-on workshops required buckets, dish soap, wire hoops, low tunnel fabric, and plants. The specific supplies needed were dependent on the specific workshop requests from the gardeners.

​Links to publicly available resources used for this activity:

How many times has this activity been hosted? As of September 2020, nine workshops have been held via Facebook Live. The intent is to have one workshop per week throughout the growing season.​

In total, how many audience members have been in attendance? Approximately 50 gardeners have participated in the project. However, Facebook Live workshops have each received between 50–300 views.

How was the impact of this outreach activity evaluated? A preseason survey was distributed, and an additional survey will be distributed at the end of the growing season. Hosts also talk with the gardeners after each workshop.

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