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University of the District of Columbia Creates Community Gardens of the Senses

Washington, D.C. – The University of the District of Columbia’s newest college, the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES) launched a community garden project on Saturday, July 20, 2013. Known collectively as “Gardens of the Senses,” the project created the first of three gardens on the UDC Van Ness Campus: a garden for the sense of vision; a garden for the sense of smell and a garden for the sense of touch.

“Each garden will be labeled and self-explanatory, invigorating the senses and presenting a connection with the stimulation nature offers to inspire our intellect and our emotions,” explained Dr. Sabine O’Hara, Dean of CAUSES.

The gardens will serve as a destination site for D.C. schools. Maintained by University of the District of Columbia (UDC) Student Garden Club with assistance of faculty and staff mentors, UDC students will serve as mentors to area school children from elementary, middle and high schools. The wide variety of plants in the gardens will also serve as research sites to investigate different plant qualities.

“To have so many volunteers come out and help was amazing and shows how strongly people feel about creating space for nature and improving our physical surroundings," said Coy McKinney, the Project Coordinator. “I hope the garden will serve as an invitation for passersby to reconnect with nature--and to appreciate what surrounds us and what we are all part of.”

The project was made possible through a grant from The Verizon Foundation, and is ongoing. Community participation is welcome. Please join CAUSES on Wednesdays from 5 – 7:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. – Noon near the athletic field on Van Ness Ave. to continue the project and to help with future gardening projects around campus.

For more information on the project, contact Dr. Sabine O'Hara at  

About The University Of The District Of Columbia

An HBCU, urban land-grant, and the only public university in the nation’s capital, The University of the District of Columbia is committed to a broad mission of education, research and community service.  Established by abolitionist Myrtilla Miner in 1851, the University of DC offers Associate’s, Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees and a host of workplace development services designed to create opportunities for student success.  The University is comprised of a Community CollegeSchool of Engineering and Applied SciencesSchool of Business and Public AdministrationCollege of Arts and SciencesCollege of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences, and the David A. Clarke School of Law. To learn more, visit

The University of the District of Columbia is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action institution. Minorities, women, veterans and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For a full version of the University’s EO Policy Statement, please visit: