UAlbany Students Demonstrate Commitment to Sustainable and Local Food

ALBANY, N.Y. (October 30, 2014) -- Whether it's working to bring healthy eating options in the dining halls or increasing locally sourced foods on campus, University at Albany students have taken the lead on bringing the concepts of sustainable farming and food production to the campus community.

UAlbany Campus Crunch 2014
Indian Ladder Farms owner Peter Ten Eyck joins UAlbany students to celebrate the first annual SUNY "Campus Crunch" on October 24, 2014. (Photo Paul Miller)

"We started out by creating a student group called Grow Green," said Lisa Cassidy, who serves on UAlbany's sustainability council and is studying to earn her master's degree in biodiversity, conservation and policy. The group, which now has 90 participants, spent a recent fall day constructing a new Heritage Garden, promoting the use of native plants with cultural significance to New York.

The garden, which utilizes a low-water landscape with efficient irrigation methods, will serve to educate the community about the history and biodiversity of the region, said Amanda Colley, who co-chairs the grounds committee with Cassidy on the sustainability council. Each of the gardening beds represents a period of history in New York, as reflected by the four University residence quads: Indian, Dutch, Colonial and State. As such, the garden serves as a living-learning lab for students and the community.

First Annual SUNY Campus Crunch

In addition, UAlbany recently showcased its commitment to locally sourced foods through its participation in the inaugural 'Campus Crunch.' In honor of Food Day, UAlbany students, faculty and staff joined colleagues at 17 other schools and colleges across New York State to emphasize how universities can work with regional farms to promote sustainable food production.

UAlbany works with several regional food suppliers to receive fruits and vegetables from local farms, as well as all pork and grass-fed beef which are served in the University's dining halls.

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany-SUNY offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, businesseducation, public health,health sciences, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare and sociology, taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.