The Experiential Learning BUG
Over that last decade, Bronco Urban Gardens (BUG) has worked with a range of different age groups, providing experiential learning at its garden sites for both SCU students and community participants. The pandemic has impacted BUG’s approach to place-based education as the need for distance learning has moved to virtual learning platforms. How we learn from our local communities and neighborhoods has had to change, with SCU students being instrumental in facilitating BUG’s shift from actual gardens to a virtual one.
The Center for Sustainability summer 2020 virtual internship program was a critical component to shifting community-based learning to a virtual platform. The BUG interns created a foundation for student engagement, helping to develop guides for digital projects and curating resources necessary for distance learning. Their focus, creativity and flexible thinking serves the work BUG is currently doing with ENVS 191: Urban Agriculture Practicum students. This fall quarter ENVS 191 students are working to develop video content that will help launch BUG’s Virtual Garden Classroom (VGC). In fulfilling their ELSJ requirement, these students are putting together BUG shorts slated for the VGC, where undergraduates promote environmental literacy in engaging, accessible ways.
While student engagement continues to drive BUG’s program design, maintaining the connection to our community partners remains core to BUG outreach. The VGC provides our community partners and faculty participants with garden-based educational enrichment, serving as a placeholder, when we cannot meet in the places that have traditionally supported our learning together. Maintaining our connections to each other and to the work of building a more just, sustainable and gentle world is essential now more than ever as we all navigate this global crisis.
Jardin Organico sign