SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Savannah State University recently broke ground on a campus community garden they hope will address the needs of students and staff, along with making their community a little greener.
“Now we don’t have to ride like three or four buses to the mall because it’s by the mall to get food, which is more expensive. We can actually grow what we want,” said student Owasan Andrew Okorodudu.
Andrew Okordudu is an international student and student athlete from Nigeria. He says he’s had a difficult time finding healthy food and says he had to learn multiple bus routes in order to get the food and nutrition he needed.
“I had to learn the bus route. And sometimes your speech can be a deficit because sometimes people don’t understand where you’re from.”
He even grows his own vegetables so he’ll have access to them. To help students like him and the rest of the community on campus, the university has broken ground on a community-wide garden.
“In the spring weather beautiful flowers growing and everything this will be really perfect foundation for that.”
It’s a partnership between SSU’s International Education Center and Marine Biology Department.
“One of the things I learned when talking to them is that they really missed food from home and most of the food that we grill here is not commonly found in our cafeteria or even most of our grocery stores state. They usually have to go to specialty grocery stores to get food. so we thought why not grow some of it,” said Joline Keevy, Assistant Director of the International Education Center.
It’s been a few years in the making. Faculty members are excited to see it grow and potentially expand from the area it’s in now.
“This is one of several things that we are doing on campus to really give students, faculty, staff the opportunity to see green opportunities,” said Dr. Sue Ebanks, Associate Professor of Marine and Environmental Sciences.
Andrew believes it’ll also be an opportunity for students to learn more about their roots while digging them up.
“Bringing it here is going to be really important because by learning about those you’re learning about your roots also,” he said. “That’s one of the most important things. Knowing who you and knowing stuff about where you’re from and how things were done, getting your hands involved.”
Faculty members say it’ll also be an opportunity to help students who need it. They say the university usually has between 20 to 80 students who are insecure at any given time.