If students were to pass The Cottage’s Resident Advisers’ office in Spring 2018 they would have found a thriving garden full of tomatoes, peppers, lettuce and a wooden sign with the words “Lancer Farms.” Now one might not recognize it — just a gate and some grass remain.
The Farm was a student-organized garden run by the Environmental Science Club, headed by Brittany Ducca, senior environmental science major. The club made the final decision to move the farm after the location was no longer suitable because of the construction of the Dennis and Carol Troesh Engineering Building.
“It ended up being an incredible blessing in disguise because now we have the opportunity to build (the farm) back, even bigger and better than it was before,” Ducca said.
Ducca said the new farm will be a collaboration with the Botany Club, which will add in a botanical garden.
The club members said they hope the botanical garden will present a variety of flowers and plants native to California, specifically plants not typically seen in Riverside.
While the spot for the new farm has not been confirmed, the club has promising leads.
One of the design-centric spots is the open space on top of the Engineering Building, while another potential spot could be the large plot of land surrounding the Hawthorne House, a historical home located behind The Colony apartments.
Dr. Bonjun Koo, professor of environmental science and the club’s adviser, said construction should start for the new Lancer Farms by the end of this semester.
Koo said Steve Smith, director of Facilities & Planning Services, will present the proposal for Lancer Farms to the university’s Executive Council soon.
“With (Smith’s) help, we will be able to have a greener campus,” Koo said.
The club members said they also hope for an entirely new system surrounding the garden, including a self-irrigation system and a compost site to provide better nutrients to the garden.
Sabrina Tamimi, junior environmental science major and vice president of the Environmental Science Club, said the upcoming farm will have vegetables, herbs, fruits and more.
Tamimi also said the products grown will be open for consumption at club fairs and sanctioned events.
“(The Environmental Science Club) wants to teach students about God’s creation and how to take better care of it,” Tamimi said.
The club also wants to further involve the students through the possible locations of the new farm that will allow students to better access the farm and see its progress.
Although construction of the Engineering Building led to the removal of the farm, it now will receive a new and better life. With a promising start and a supportive staff, the CBU Lancer Farms/Botanical Garden will be a greener addition to the ever-growing campus.