About the Green Patch
The RPIRG Green Patch is a 5400 sq ft vegetable garden behind the Dr. John Archer Library at the U of R. It’s a source of sustainable, locally grown organic food – part of a campus movement for community engagement and sustainable development.
Launched on March 28th 2012, it is a response to the need for urban centres to invest in sustainable, locally grown, secure food sources. In May 2019 RPIRG expanded the Green Patch by planting a perennial orchard in an adjacent courtyard, in partnership with the University of Regina.
Each year RPIRG hires a student to act as the Green Patch Coordinator, to maintain the garden, manage volunteers, and do outreach work. The Green Patch intends to achieve six strategic objectives in order to foster student and staff engagement, and to act as a model for sustainable development:
- Educate on horticulture, food security, and healthy eating habits
- Engage students and staff in a community project with positive social impacts
- Produce high quality vegetables for free/low cost
In 2019, after years of working with the University in its process of redeveloping the northwest corner of the Academic Green, RPIRG installed the first phase of a public perennial orchard. A wide variety of fruit bearing trees, shrubs, and plants as well as pollinator flowers were put in place and are still in the process of becoming established. Over time, this first phase of plants will take root and expand to fill in the various orchard beds, and each year RPIRG will be working to manage weeds and assess the health of each plot. In the coming years we plan to install some more permanent signage to both mark the garden and provide educational opportunities to learn about the space.
Due to COVID and the need to reduce the amount of volunteers on site, our current capacity/priorities have been to maintain existing plants and try to keep on top of weeding using organic gardening principles, while each year adding to a general maintenance guidebook. It’s our goal to continue to consult with both campus and community experts in gardening and pest management to help the orchard space thrive, and fill in other parts of the orchard beds with more pollinators, edible plants, and fruiting species.
How can I volunteer?
The Green Patch at the University of Regina is a wonderful place for volunteers to connect with nature and make a positive impact on the environment. As a student-led garden, The Green Patch is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable community garden on campus. We rely on the help of volunteers to keep the garden thriving, and we welcome everyone to join us.
Volunteering in the garden is a great opportunity to learn about sustainable practices and gain hands-on experience in gardening. You'll work alongside experienced gardeners who can offer guidance and share their knowledge with you. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or a novice, there's a place for you in The Green Patch.
We hold regular volunteer sessions throughout the gardening season, and we would love for you to join us. Our volunteers help with a range of tasks, from planting and weeding to harvesting and composting. We also hold special events and workshops, such as our annual planting week, where volunteers can come together and make a difference in the garden.
To volunteer with The Green Patch, all you need is a willingness to learn and a desire to help out. We provide all the necessary tools and supplies and guidance from our garden coordinator. You'll need to wear clothes and shoes that you don't mind getting dirty and bring your water, sunscreen, and bug spray.
If you're interested in volunteering with The Green Patch, please sign up using the link below. You can also follow us on social media for updates and information. We look forward to seeing you in the garden!
2023 RPIRG Green Patch News & Updates
The garden planting week: The Green Patch is excited to announce its 2023 gardening season at the University of Regina campus. The organization is gearing up to plant in its garden and is inviting volunteers to participate in its annual planting week from May 30th to June 2nd. Learn more here.
Meet the Garden Coordinator
Aaliyah is our garden coordinator for 2023/2024 season. She is an Indigenous student studying Education at the First Nations University of Canada. Aaliyah joined our team in April 2023 with great gardening knowledge and experience. Whenever you see her in the garden, please don't forget to introduce yourself to her or give her a chance to introduced herself to you.
Frequently Asked Questions
In addition to planting, weeding and watering; there are plenty of other things that happen in and around the garden every year!
The Green Patch Coordinator occasionally sets up workshops or other social events throughout the garden season. To learn more, you can stay tuned to this page, our RPIRG Green Patch Facebook page, or subscribe to our monthly newsletter.
Over the last several years the Green Patch has delivered produce to community organizations while also being open to students and other campus community members to harvest or collect food. At the end of every year there is a harvest celebration where volunteers and community members alike, gather to collect the last crops of the season. This is a great time to talk, laugh and eat and celebrate a gardening season well done!
When the Green Patch is open for the season, any member of the campus or wider community is free to access any produce that is ready to be picked. We also occasionally do tabling or other outreach to provide produce directly to students. We also donate a lot of our produce to Carmichael Outreach, a local community based organization (CBO) that provides a range of programming that includes preventative measures and harm reduction. We also occasionally donate to other CBOs or initiatives as well.
Volunteers also are given a portion of the crop, as a reward for all their hard work throughout the growing season! One of the great perks to volunteering!
If you have any additional questions about the garden, feel free to email our garden coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- closed toed shoes
- long sleeve shirt
- pants to protect legs from thorns/scratchy plants
- hat (if sunny)
- other weather appropriate clothing – for example rain coat if it might be a bit wet outside
- refillable water bottle
- work gloves that you like to use (we have some to lend)