About Us

Welcome to the Giving Garden!

The Giving Garden is all about generating community around a common concern for sustainability.
We are a grassroots network of EMU Students, Faculty, Staff and Alumni, and Ypsilanti residents who want to see a better future grow from our actions!


We are located at Eastern Michigan University, on a little hill just east of the Convocation Center.
We have a plot of about 80′ x 80′. We do not use synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, nor do we use genetically engineered organisms (GMO).

We began organizing this project as a group in January 2009. We have about 30-40 people gardening with us at any given time during the growing season. The primary goal is to provide a space where we can build community among our gardeners and the larger Ypsilanti through the process of planting, growing, tending and harvesting! We also share that process with others as we go along throughout the season.

Giving Garden history…

  • Was founded by students in 2009
  • Is completely designed and run by students with support from various departments on-campus as well as many local individuals
  • Served about 45 individuals over our first 3 seasons, many of whom are families, not just students
  • Donated about $200 worth of fresh food directly to SOS Community Services, grown from our 2 10×10 raised beds known as the “Donation Station” (Fresh Food Donation Program)
  • Served as a vendor a the local Downtown Farmers’ Market during 2 seasons.
  • Ran a garden-based learning program for 10 youth ages 13-19 in our first year and has since partnered with Franklin Middle School and Ypsilanti High School in the establishment of their first school gardens.
  • Partnered with Growing Hope to build our first raised beds in 2010 for Donation Station
  • Was a stop on the 2010 and 2012 Tour de Fresh, hosted by Growing Hope
  • Represented EMU at a variety of conferences like: Great Lakes Bioneers Detroit, Michigan Young Farmer Coalition Retreats, Michigan Organic Food & Farm Conference, The Ann Arbor Local Food Summit, American Educational Studies Association, American Educational Research Association, Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coalition
  • Is NOT the first community garden to grace EMU’s campus! There have been several others over the years but, let’s make this one last for generations of students to come!


We contribute to the EMU community by offering year-round educational events, open to the University and Ypsilanti Community.

People in the local community are our teachers and partners. We work with a variety of local organizations and networks within Ypsilanti and Southeast Michigan, helping to bridge the gap between campus and community and make positive connections among lots of folks working in the sustainable agriculture and just food systems movement(s)!