What’s Growing on with TIGUrS?

Amy Collier
HCD Fellow and City and Regional Planning Graduate Candidate

Photo by Craig Collier Photography

Strong wind stinging my ears, shoes soaked through with 7am November dew, a folder of vendor agreements under my arm, quickly cleaning up a demolished radish bed while on the phone, directing a lost volunteer to the garden. Ahh, the life of a TIGUrS intern. My name is Amy Collier and I am the graduate assistant for the University of Memphis urban gardening initiative, called the Tiger Initiative for Gardening in Urban Settings. The situation I just described was myself running around with last minute details (and thoroughly enjoying it!) for our event on November 2nd, the first annual LET’S GRROW GARDEN EXPO.

Photo by Craig Collier Photography

In the last two months, most of my efforts as an intern have been focused on this event, which was done in partnership with the Memphis Area Master Gardeners. Our garden expo aims to entertain and educate families, students, and novice gardeners of all ages. Our event offers workshops on topics from rain gardens to making decorative wreaths, local and environmentally-friendly wares for sale, music, food, children’s activities, and hands-on education in our very own campus garden. If you missed it this year, you’ll definitely want to plan to be there next year!

Planning for this event has given me a great opportunity to learn about inter-organizational collaboration, and I certainly have a better appreciation for the commitment of small businesses, local organizations, and volunteers to creating a friendly educational environment in our community.

Throughout the rest of my internship, I plan to continue outreach to other campus and community organizations in order to improve our student and community involvement. Our garden has so  much to offer- fresh produce, knowledge of urban gardening practices, plenty of hands-on learning opportunities, and a fabulous greenspace for students and neighbors to gather- whether they are participating in a SLUGs event, playing Frisbee around the sunflowers, doing homework amongst great-smelling mint and basil, or enjoying our picnic space with friends and family. If you haven’t yet, please stop in to visit us! You might even get a kohlrabi or two.

For more information about TIGUrS, about volunteering, or about having an event in the garden, please contact Amy at ldnaghey@memphis.edu


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