Welcome to the online home of the SJU Community Garden!


Garden Mission and Vision

The SJU Community Garden serves as an intersection for sustainability and social justice by providing an intentional and reflective space for the SJU community to come together and promote the Jesuit ideals of appreciation of things both great and small, community engagement, and commitment to service and the environment. All food, herbs, and spices grown in the organic, raised-bed garden will be donated to one of several community partners.

In order to fulfill the Community Garden mission statement, the Community Garden executive board and volunteers from SJU and the surrounding community will come together to build and maintain a mindful and spiritual space.

  • The community garden will serve as a mindful, reflective, and spiritual destination for the whole SJU community.
  • The space will blends a fertile garden with objects that enhance relaxation, such as fountains and benches.
  • The space will be one that can host a variety of mindful activities, including educational talks, outdoor yoga, poetry readings, open-mics, small acoustic concerts, picnics, group meetings, etc.

Originally established in 2012, the SJU Community Garden has had success building a campus garden community and partnering with local organizations to donate food. In 2018, the garden found a new institutional home within the Office of Mission Programs, where we hope to make real in exciting new ways the university’s Jesuit mission and ideals. In Spring 2019, the garden is moving to its new location, between Merion Hall and Fine Arts East.

Spring 2019 Events!

Ground Breaking and Bed Clearing, April 13

Bed Raising Event, April 27

To be added to our list, send an email to sjucommunitygarden@sju.edu and follow us on Instagram @sjucomgarden.

Community Partners

We are proud to share information about and links to our community partners.

sju facilities management

The Office of Facilities Management is responsible for managing and maintaining 144 acres and 80 buildings in Philadelphia and Lower Merion Township. Facilities has been a wonderful partner, first helping provide a space for the garden, and then providing water access, a space for our shed, power outlets in the shed, and consistent advice that has benefited the garden tremendously.

The Green Fund brings together faculty, students, and facilities in creating new sustainability changes on campus.  With each new academic year, the Green Fund’s budget is generated from $5 from each student per semester from the university activity fee. With this sizable budget, big environmentally-conscious changes can be made to our campus. Green Fund is committed to making Saint Joseph’s University an advocate for sustainability!

The Kinney Center for Autism Awareness

The Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support seeks students with high aspirations of serving children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), their families, schools, service providers and community. Students will be challenged to approach the autism field in a creative, spirited and meaningful way, and to work to produce the best possible outcomes for those with ASD. The Kinney Center is committed to helping individuals with autism live greater.

Primex Garden Center is a family-owned, independent, all-seasons garden center, nursery & greenhouse. Primex has been located in Glenside serving our local community and the greater Philadelphia region since 1943.  In our Nursery and Greenhouse you’ll find quality, locally sourced plants. Our Store has a wide selection of top-of-the-line gardening tools and supplies from your old standbys to current sustainable innovations. We carry an ever-expanding supply of organic gardening products (the largest in the region!), because we know what benefits the community benefits all of us. Primex generously discounted the cost for of their topsoil and waived the delivery fee.

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The HomeDepot Marple, PA, generously donated all lumber for the community garden and waived the delivery fee.

Charles Friel Landscaping Contractors is the Philadelphia area’s premier full-service landscaping contractor for corporate, educational and large residential properties. We believe that the property surrounding your buildings is a reflection of the people who work, study or live there. Whether you are a property manager or a member of a property association we look forward to getting to know you and to design, install and maintain your ideal landscape. Charles Friel generously donated flowers and seeds for the garden.

Summer Scholars

The Community Gardens welcomes students to apply for Summer Scholar projects that incorporate the garden in meaningful ways.

2019 Summer Scholar: Elaine Estes

Community Garden Committee (2019 – 2020)

  • Director: Bill Wolff, Associate Professor, Communication and Digital Media
  • Associate Director: Madison Cassel
  • Garden Coordination: Dana Ortgiesen and Sofia Connor
  • Outreach Coordination: Karla Holmes and Makenzy Portney
  • Volunteer Coordination: Gia Picknally and Cat McMullen
  • Social Media Coordination: Kaitlyn Peterson and Adrianna Esposito
  • Graphic Design: Julia Pennanen and Michela Bussard
  • Administrative Staff Representative: Eileen Conroy
  • Faculty Representatives: Clint Springer and Gerard Jacobitz 

Past Garden Committee Members

  • Olivia Connelly, Garden Coordinator, 2018 – 2019
  • Rose Morizzo, Volunteer Coordinator, 2018 – 2019