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Bronco Urban Gardens

In 2009, Santa Clara University’s Environmental Studies Institute collaborated with AmeriCorps (Silicon Valley HealthCorps) and seven other regional organizations to launch the Bronco Urban Gardens (BUG) program.


Since its conception, BUG has promoted environmental education and healthy nutritional habits for families in marginalized communities.  Bronco Urban Gardens is a Santa Clara University (SCU) outreach program that serves urban schools and communities, with a special emphasis on San Jose's Washington neighborhood.

Program Goals

BUG is a garden-based education program, serving children, teachers and families in marginalized communities, with several interrelated goals that include:

  • Development of organic gardens and garden projects that partner with the community to increase access to healthful food and promote urban sustainability and environmental and food justice
  • Enhance ecological literacy and community health through garden and nutrition education and training programs
  • Provide community-based learning opportunities for SCU students (serving the Experiential Learning for Social Justice Core requirement and SCU's mission)
  • Create new models and strategies for just and sustainable community development, with a focus on social justice and sustainable urban food systems

Program Hubs

To meet these goals, BUG has developed three hubs, each of which address the program's goals in unique and complementary ways. The BUG hubs are:

  • SCU's educational Forge Garden
  • Gardner Academy Garden
  • Washington Elementary Garden
"I have observed the tremendous benefits that have resulted from the residents’ involvement in Garden Club. My own child, who is usually reluctant to eat anything that isn’t covered in frosting, has actually tried and enjoyed many healthy foods!"

Nicole T., mother & community member

"It was great collaborating with BUG to bring garden club to my CORAL students in our expanded learning program. The CORAL students as well as my instructor loved have SCU volunteers helping students to learn about the garden."

Elvia Casas, CORAL Site Supervisor