Revived and Reenergized: Baylor Community Garden Cultivates Flourishing Future

More than 700 students, faculty and staff have revived the community garden through composting, cultivation and education

April 23, 2024
Baylor Community Garden

The collaborative efforts of students, faculty and staff, has helped the Baylor Community Garden blossom into a site of transdisciplinary environmental discovery, creativity and community health (Photo Credit: Josh King). 

Contact: Shelby Cefaratti-Bertin, Baylor University Media & Public Relations, 254-327-8012 
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WACO, Texas (April 23, 2024) – After a three-year hiatus after the pandemic, the Baylor Community Garden is back and thriving at its location at the edge of campus on Ninth Street and James Avenue.

Through the collaborative efforts of more than 700 students, faculty and staff, the garden has blossomed into a “site of transdisciplinary environmental discovery, creativity and community health,” said Morgan Garner, senior professional writing and rhetoric major and student manager of the garden. 

The garden was dedicated in 2011 with the mission of supplying produce for Baylor students and community organizations. Since the garden’s revival in fall 2023, Baylor volunteers have harvested more than 70 pounds of produce for Baylor students. The effort also has been energized by external grants that have significantly expanded campus composting, cultivation and educational programs, and by generous support from Student Government to fund new facilities and a CO2-absorbing mural.

Radishes at Baylor Community Garden
Baylor volunteers have harvested more than 70 pounds of produce for Baylor students (Photo Credit: Josh King).

“The future of the Baylor Community Garden looks bright, thanks to the collaboration of people from diverse departments, organizations and programs,”Garner said. “As long as people remain invested in the community garden and composting initiatives, it will continue to grow and provide more opportunities for hands-on learning and addressing basic needs for those within the Baylor and Waco community.” 

Recently, a special focus has been placed on sustainable water-use technologies through the design and testing of those technologies by students on-site. In addition, the garden has received grants from the Funders Network and the Cooper Foundation to nurture an ecosystem of gardens, urban farms and composting sites to redirect food waste from landfills into healthy soil, produce and communities.

 “This promotes a healthier climate and empowers communities with sovereignty over their food in a city where many face food insecurity and food-related diseases,” said Josh King, Ph.D., professor of English and director of Environmental Humanities Minor at Baylor. 

The results have been interactive opportunities for students of all academic backgrounds, King said.

“Interdisciplinary learning is fundamental to the BCG,” King said. “This year alone, we’ve had classes, class projects and special workshops involving courses in English, History, Modern Languages and Cultures, Philanthropy and Public Service, Environmental Science, Social Work and Education. Issues the Baylor Community Garden wants to address – like sustainability, food justice and living more responsibly and locally in an era of climate change – require the resources and insights of every discipline and field of knowledge we’ve got.”

The Baylor Community Garden will host “Growing Together: Celebrating a Year of Environmental Education and Flourishing,” which will consist of a Garden to Table Dinner at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 25. [The event is sold out.] The night will celebrate the work of contributing student groups, the Environmental Humanities Minor and the partnership with the Sustainable Community and Regenerative Agriculture (SCRAP) collective. This grant-funded effort between local nonprofits, the City of Waco and Baylor programs co-creates an ecosystem of urban gardens, farms and composting sites that divert waste from the landfill and nourish healthy food for all while advancing climate resilience.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked Research 1 institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.