This week’s hero of the week goes to our very own group of Green Giants.
Led by Shane Brill, a 2003 graduate in English and Creative Writing, the campus was established around 2006 when Brill was hired by the college to run the official website.
“But I was determined not to just run the college website but to have an impact on campus based on things I had seen at Dickinson College,” Brill said.
Worked with Buildings and Grounds to find a small part of campus. Part grassy lawn and part parking lot. The Student Environmental Alliance established the garden and now they’ve branched from one another.
While working for Dickinson College, Brill was able to use literary devices and narrative theory he was taught at WC and turned it into ecological literacy. More interesting, how humans relate to the earth, and started studying permaculture.
“I never considered myself particularly environmental at the time”
Exposed to a culture of sustainability at college. “our culture was composed of stories” understanding the world in an environmental context. See literary devices in everyday life. An ecological awakening.
Permaculture is as Brill explains it: revolution disguised as gardening. This design approach and philosophy of meeting the needs of people while improving the health of the planet: earth care, people care, and fair share.
And many of the students on this campus care. “there’s a growing social awareness of permaculture”
With work days most Fridays at the campus garden, in front of the Prince George Western Shore dorm, Brill act as an advisor and mentor to an executive board of devoted environmental students. Incredible student leaders who take charge of different areas they control and their specialties.
“I am a hands-on learner and this experience has been crucial in my comprehension of the role of nitrogen in the decomposition process. Also, we’re breaking down old food waste and putting it to good use! Diverting our organic waste stream makes me so happy!” Sophomore Analiese Bush said.
The club keeps the garden up to snuff by turning compost, removing invasive species and cultivating a healthy, mostly native pocket of habitat right on campus. They also learn about how to identify plants, and discuss permaculture techniques and experiment with plantings and layouts.
“I facilitate the relationship students have with the natural world,” Brill said. “And it’s a beautiful thing,” Brill said.
Collaborating with other clubs to establish an appearance and relationships with Habitat for Humanity, SEA, and Archeology club.
“We are proud of everything that we have accomplished and continue to accomplish, and we want you to reap the benefits of the space,” Bush
Both Brill and Bush exclaim that this garden belongs to all students just as much as it belongs to the club. They urge students to come study, meditate, or just relax after a hard week of classes. You can also join them on workdays at any time at the garden or River and Field campus.