Spring Blooms at the 2/3 Acre WestCo Garden

The West College Courtyard is starting to bloom, May 19.

The West College Courtyard is starting to bloom, May 19.

Now in its third year, the WestCo Courtyard, created by WILDWes, continues to function as a transformative collective on campus. The project grew from a desire to increase sustainability awareness efforts on-campus by using the West College (WestCo) courtyard as a socially accessible platform.

The garden’s permaculture design mimics natural patterns with low human maintenance.

Wesleyan’s WILD Wes organization (Working for Intelligent Landscape Design) created and maintains the 2/3 acre garden.

Wesleyan’s WILD Wes organization (Working for Intelligent Landscape Design) created and maintains the 2/3 acre garden.

In the summer of 2011, students began by rejuvenating the soil in the courtyard. With administrative and financial support and guidance, largely from the Green Building Committee, Physical Plant, the Student Budgeting Committee, and the College of the Environment, the collective was able to proceed with sheet mulching, digging swales, and prepare for general composting of the entire courtyard. Since then, students implemented their design plans. WILDWes’ additional successes include: expansion into the Butterfield courtyard, with the addition of the Summerfield terraces and trees; a paid summer internship; and raising garden beds that add to the food supply of nearby markets.

In the summer of 2011, students began by rejuvenating the soil in the courtyard. With administrative and financial support and guidance, largely from the Green Building Committee, Physical Plant, the Student Budgeting Committee, and the College of the Environment, the collective was able to proceed with sheet mulching, digging swales, and prepare for general composting of the entire courtyard. Since then, students implemented their design plans. WILDWes’ additional successes include: expansion into the Butterfield courtyard, with the addition of the Summerfield terraces and trees; a paid summer internship; and raising garden beds that add to the food supply of nearby markets. (Photos by Olivia Drake)