Loyola Marymount University senior Briana Bergstrom was granted ASLMU’s first ever Inspiration Grant, a $5,000 grant given to a student or a group of students who engage in a sustainable service project that will have a positive impact on the LMU community.
“It’s a huge honor,” said Bergstrom, a environmental science major. “This was a joint effort between me, and all the students involved. I am so happy to represent everyone’s ideas and receive the grant on behalf of all of us.”
In October of 2010, Bergstrom started the LMU Inspiration Organic, Native, and Sustainability (LIONS) Gardeners with the help of April Sandifer, senior urban studies major and co-president of the LIONS Gardeners, and Joe Rasmussen, campus sustainability coordinator. The purpose of the club is to build community through gardening and by teaching students about organic food production.
“We want to educate students about organic food farming and campus sustainability and to develop interaction between different groups on campus. It’s a way to get students together and out of urban environments,” Bergstrom said. “The garden will help us create a sense of place where we can feel a connection to the land here, and just nature in general.”
By receiving the grant, the club was able to start planting in the garden, which will soon have multiple sections - the pollinator garden, native plant garden, citrus garden, rain garden, and an “Adopt-a-Plot” vegetable and fruit garden. A portion of the produce will be donated to food banks. The garden is located behind the greenhouse between Sullivan and Pereira.
The garden will be formally introduced to the LMU community at a special ceremony held on April 12 by Urban Farming, a nonprofit organization that builds gardens across campuses in the United States.