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MBA Student and Alumnus Eager to Dig In And Grow

RADFORD – Like most, Brittany Gerald ’09 is eagerly awaiting the inevitable arrival of spring. As the volunteer co-director of the City of Radford’s community garden, she is combining her MBA skills and a desire to make a contribution to her community.

Brittany Gerald“I was looking for something to complement my finance degree and broaden my capabilities and opportunities,” said Gerald (right) who is completing her first year in RU’s MBA program. “I worked my own plot last year and enjoyed the gardening and the people I met. Now, I would like to create an opportunity that brings them together and supports them.”

The community garden is located along the New River on the old DG’s Driving Range in the city’s sprawling park complex that includes the Riverway Trail, softball and baseball fields and Bisset Park. Gerald said she hopes to double the number of plots worked to 20 this year and is looking for individuals or groups who will enjoy spending the summer days growing their own healthy food as opposed to picking it up at the local supermarket. She cautions that it is important the gardeners be able to work their plots during the summer months when both the vegetables and the weeds grow fastest.

“Beyond actually learning where food comes from and how to do it,” said Gerald. “I am getting real experience in project management, leadership, public relations and marketing.”

Gerald has started a blog on the Radford community garden that features the latest news about the garden, a growing calendar and gardening resources. A community garden kick-off is scheduled for April 17 to correspond with the first day of cool-season crop planting. A Master Gardener will be on hand to meet with the community and talk about the basics and joy of gardening.

Ultimately, Gerald hopes that the RU campus might find space to host a garden from which produce can be harvested for use in the dining halls as is done at other colleges like Ferrum and William and Mary.

Said Gerald: “It could be an additional step towards sustainability as we would consume more products grown locally and sustain less transportation costs.”

In the meantime, Gerald hopes the Radford community garden can become a place where the university and local communities can connect and she can continue to earn “hands-on, grass-roots experience.”

March 4, 2010
Contact: Don Bowman (dbowman@radford.edu; 540-831-7523)

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