Zachary Eichholz and Alexis Miller, master’s students in Interdisciplinary Sciences who were among the leaders of the development and launch of Florida Tech’s Ethos Community Garden, have started a new initiative to unite local community gardens across the county under a common cause of collaboration, education, joint outreach, resource sharing and sustainability awareness.
Called the Community Garden Network of Brevard (CGCB), the group’s first meeting was April 6 in Evans Library. The meeting was hosted by the Ethos Community Garden and Eichholz and Miller, who are also the Residence Life Sustainability Committee president and vice president, respectively. Representatives from Rockwell Collins, and gardens in Satellite Beach, Cocoa Beach, Cape Canaveral and Melbourne were among the many in attendance.
“When developing the garden and learning the ins and outs of how to go about it, we talked to numerous local community gardens for advice,” Eichholz said. “There was such a wealth of knowledge to be learned from, but it was difficult to understand what was perhaps the best advice we were getting. We thought to ourselves, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if all of this information was streamlined and could be found from one specific source that was tailored to the needs of Brevard County residents and businesses?’”
The idea of some kind of collaborative network began to look even more feasible when the Ethos Community Garden gained two additional sister gardens in the form of Pathos and Logos, found in Cocoa Beach and Satellite Beach respectively. After a few weeks of outreach, Eichholz and Miller managed to arrange the first network meeting, hosting representatives from thirteen different local organizations, cities and gardens that included Cape Canaveral, the Verdi EcoSchool, Rockwell Collins, the City of Satellite Beach Sustainability Board, and Florida Tech’s Community Garden Club.