Friday, March 18, 2016

Learning How Community Grows at the Randolph Street Community Gardens

We are a group of student researchers investigating the long-term sustainability of an irrigation project in Lumbisi, Ecuador. Our central research question for the irrigation project:

What is the spatial configuration of Lumbisi beginning from an outsider's etic perspective and moving toward a local emic perspective? 

As we develop and refine our research questions and methodologies, we have the great fortune to connect with a local community in Champaign.

The Randolph Street Community garden is a vibrant space where community members come together to grow and share food and simultaneously form community through the shared maintenance of the garden and gathering space. Since none of the students in our group had strong ties to the garden before this class, we will begin as outsiders to the garden but through the spring planting and growing season, we may make connections that help us move ever closer to understanding how the community sees and describes itself as a social space and a space to socialize.

We can’t wait to start learning and growing with the garden this year and to develop strong roots in our Champaign community and healthy starts for our long-term research goals.