Students plant seeds for the future

Jessie Goodson, Campus Carrier Features Editor

Leigh Hadaway, Staff Writer

Leigh Hadaway | CAMPUS CARRIER 
Brian Campbell (center) teaches student about gardening with hands-on learning experiences in one of his many classes. He is passionate about educating students on the importance of the environment and how to properly care for it. 

A Berry professor takes the classroom outside where students work with children to better the environment. 

Berry’s elementary and middle schools partnered with students in the environmental studies program to work on the Agricultural Biodiversity Conservation (ABC) project with Brian Campbell, associate professor of environmental studies.  

“The fact that there is a collaborative interaction between the college and the elementary school means that our college students are learning from these little kids, and also identifying ways to better teach them,” Campbell said. 

Campbell got involved with the program because his children were students at the school and he wanted to further his passion for environmental studies. Campbell said that not enough students understand the importance of environmental care and how it impacts us and our environment.

Berry students work with young kids and educate them on the importance of environmental studies. The students and kids built an orchard with various fruit trees and bushes.

“When kids understand that whole process, it makes them more conscientious as they grow of environmental issues, which is a big deal, especially in today’s world,” senior Tessa Howard, ABC project student and Campbell’s research assistant said.

The children are taught various roles depending on their grade. Younger kids learn about farming and types of fruits and vegetables, older students learn about ecology and ecosystems. Eighth graders learned about architectural ecology and built the flower beds and rows that are used now. Classes are led by Campbell or environmental studies students that work with the project. 0

Everything grown in the garden is toxin-free and completely organic. Students are encouraged to eat the new things that they have grown. 

“It’s very important that we start kids off at a young age getting their hands dirty, interacting with the dirt, establishing a healthy, productive relationship with their local environment,” Campbell said.

This program is a way for environmental studies students to gain experience with teaching, especially those that plan to pursue it as a career.

“I love working with kids and I love working outside, so it’s the perfect combination for me,” Alexis Draut, ABC project student said. “It’s definitely something I want to pursue in my future.” 

The program is still young and has plans for growth. More space and projects will be added in the future to provide students with plenty of space to learn and work.

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