St. Mary's Language Hall Garden
The St. Mary’s Garden, located alongside St. Mary’s Hall and across from Stamp Student Union, is an integral part of the Language House living-learning immersion program. The program houses students in a culturally immersive environment to aid language learning by having residents consistently practice their target language and receive mentorship from a native speaker. St. Mary’s Garden, as one of the many additions that the Language House offers its residents, provides opportunities to learn about sustainability and agriculture from around the world by focusing on culturally distinct horticultural practices, agricultural traditions, and plants. The garden’s mission is to build a multicultural community through the integration of language-learning and gardening.
The Language House program operates the garden through a student-led Garden Club, which allows students to attend the garden and participate in a variety of activities, including planting, harvesting, socializing, and learning. Ordinarily, all harvested produce is either given to residents of the program that attend weekly garden hours or donated to the UMD Campus Pantry to help reduce food insecurity on campus.
St. Mary’s Garden consists of two large rectangular beds as well as a multitude of pots and trellises. The garden relies on sustainable practices such as composting, rainwater barrels, and organic fertilizers to boost the productivity and eco-friendliness of the space. A popular club amongst Language House members, it boasts being one of four gardens on campus that provides fresh produce for the community. In the future, the garden’s student club hopes to increase its outreach across campus by hosting multi-language events with the University of Maryland Arboretum and Botanical Gardens.
Written by lead intern, Archi Singh