Our History, from the Ground Up….

The first raised flower garden was planted on the Northridge campus in 2013. Originally planted for her Macro Photography class, Kathryn (Kat) Watts-Martinez from the Department of Professional Photography wanted her students to have interesting subjects to photograph as well engage and learn from their surroundings. After the first garden was established and full of blooms Cameron Keel and Kat decided to see if other departments might be interested in adopting the remaining underutilized flower beds to plant and maintain on their own.

It was a huge success, along with enthusiastic support from George Griffith and his amazing crew from the ACC Building and Grounds Department that provided the rich dirt, low water drip line irrigation and drought tolerant plants. Along with the encouragement and support of our Campus Manager Bel Smith the NRG Garden Group was established. We were able to adopt out all 48 raised beds and 25 container gardens to 18 departments and students. Creating a true “community garden”.

After several years of dedicated gardeners planting the proper variety of food and habitat for the Monarch Butterflies, the Northridge campus has been awarded certification of being a Monarch Migratory Waystation Habitat. These are places that provide resources necessary for monarchs to produce successive generations and sustain their migration. Our hope would be that someday all ACC campus’s would provide habitat and eventually become a “Monarch District”.

As we plan for 2017 we are partnering with the National Wildlife Federation Monarch  and Education Outreach and the City of Austin Nature-Based Conservation Programs to assist our NRG garden group with resources for our garden project. This would include introducing us to growers and companies that supply the proper milkweed  for our region. Introduce us to garden stewards that have graduated from the NWF monarch garden training that have offered to work with us to increase and maintain our habitat with tips on organic insect treatment, selecting the proper nectar plants and shelter areas.

The City of Austin Nature-Based Conservation Program has offered to introduce us to local monarch garden resources including professionals from the Ladybird Wildflower Center and Zilker Botanical Gardens.

Our hope is that with the knowledge gained we can share the information to other campus garden groups.

Special Thanks to the following gardens for their dedication, sweat and hard work. Deanna Whaley, Melissa Bucuk, Zhna Sharp and Eva Busch without whom none of this beautiful growth would have been possible.
Participating Departments 2016
  • Advising
  • Architectural and Engineering Computer Aided Design
  • Biology
  • Campus Manager’s Office
  • Campus Police
  • Chemistry
  • Counseling Office
  • Game Development, Animation, and Motion Graphics
  • Government
  • Information Technology
  • Kinesiology
  • Learning Lab
  • Math
  • Office for Students with Disabilities
  • Professional Photography
  • Physics
  • Radio-Television and Film
  • Visual Communications