The Montclair State University Community Garden (MSUCG) was founded in 2018 as the first community garden at Montclair State University. We reclaimed and revitalized underutilized space on the campus, and have established 20 raised garden beds, totaling 1,000 square feet of growing space, that we open up to our community members each year. We work to provide our gardeners with all of the necessary tools and training to have a successful growing season, and grow all of our produce as sustainably as possible.
During the traditional growing season, we provide produce to the Red Hawk Pantry, MSU’s on campus food pantry for students in need. Outside of the growing season, we work with student groups and offices on campus to help increase awareness of food needs, provide resources and support for addressing food insecurity on campus, and engage in research to monitor food insecurity on campus.
Vision & Mission
We see the garden as a way to strengthen the connections between members of the Montclair State University community and bring our community closer together, while sustainably providing fresh foods and educational resources to our community members in need.
Our mission is to donate our locally grown produce and work with members of our campus community to increase awareness of our local food systems, our relative level of food security, and foster a culture of sustainability and giving back to the community.
During the Spring 2019 Semester, students were invited to participate in research about food security on campus. A total of 628 students completed the survey. The survey included a modified version of the USDA Adult Food Security Survey, modified to better address an audience of university students; the survey asked questions that are intended to identify food security during the duration of the Spring Semester. The data suggest that over 4 out of every 10 students who responded to the survey may be Food Insecure during the academic semester, and may not have access to enough food, or have only low quality foods, on a regular basis. Learn more about the study.
The work performed by the MSUCG directly benefits students in need at Montclair State University via the Red Hawk Pantry, by providing them with fresh, local produce. We work to provide additional produce to our partner, the Montclair Community Farm, who provides food to older adults living in Montclair that do not have regular access to fresh produce.
To accomplish this, the MSUCG is proudly partnered with and supported by:
- The Red Hawk Pantry at Montclair State University
- The Montclair State University chapter of the Food Recovery Network
- Montclair State University Facilities
- The Montclair Community Farms Coalition
- The PSEG Institute for Sustainability Studies
- City Green and the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders
- The North East Earth Coalition
Watch us Grow
- Interested in watching the MSUCG grow? Follow us on instagram.
- If you have any questions about the MSUCG, please contact our Campus Community Garden Lead, Brittney Portes; Garden Assistant, Ronald Ortega; or email the Institute.
- You can read more about the importance of our work from the Montclair State University Magazine and the Montclarion.
Help us Grow
Interested in joining the garden next season?
Applications for a garden bed open March 15. The application form will be sent to all students, staff, and faculty, via the Red Hawk News. An individual student, staff, or faculty member can apply for a portion of a garden bed, and a student club or group, or a group of staff or faculty members can apply for a full garden bed. If you have any questions about the upcoming season, please contact the Garden Lead.
Interested in supporting the garden?
The MSUCG is made possible through the generous help of our partners. With their support, we have donated over 500 pounds of produce to date to students and community members in need. That amount could grow with your help!
Aiding our students for years to come