Everyone remembers the Kupfrian Hall green. It was right in the center of campus, and was a perfect place for frisbee playing, soccer, or just lazing around on a warm spring or summer day. But with the soccer field in construction, it seems as though NJIT has lost yet another “green” area of campus. In an urban campus, it is sad to see another green area go, but the good news is, there is a conscious effort to beautify campus with other green areas, namely the campus terrace.
Not too long ago, the campus terrace was home to a functional organic garden. What started off as an initiative in 2008 eventually became one of the few urban school gardens that was developed to have a working irrigation system and was filled with nutrient rich soil.Perhaps one of the best parts of its presence on campus was that the fruits and vegetables grown there were once a part of the dining hall.
Suffice to say, the Nacho station lacks the nutritional value and heart that a campus grown produce section had. Maintenance however,proved to be costly, and without a collective ‘green’ effort on campus, the terrace garden became obsolete and was destined to remain derelict. That is,until a recent effort by Student Senate gave hope for the return of the terrace garden.
Earlier this year, Student Senate pushed to approve work on the second floor of the campus center. Taking note of the costliness and maintenance necessary for an organic produce garden, it was decided that it would still be beneficial to have a garden with perennials that would be able to stay year-round. Having been successful in getting the work approved, the area was expected to be ready for planting seeds on May 20, 2018by a vendor. Problems arose however, because NJIT’s campus is currently managed by a different landscaper. The vendors willing to do the work on the terracewere not approved for landscaping NJIT. Sincetwo different vendors could not be used, one for the terrace and another for the rest of campus, the work never began. And so, some of the money that was allotted for the terrace was reassigned to renovate the stairs.
However, after meeting with the current Vice President of Student Affairs, Aditya Patwardhan, it was clear that there is still an attempt to get the garden going. Work was supposed to start multiple times over the summer, but it unfortunately never came to fruition. He was able to confirm however, that we should expect the work to begin soon, and with NJIT Green, a club dedicated to raising a green spirit on campus, the terrace could prove to be a positive addition once again to the school and could even be maintained by the NJIT Maintenance Team along with NJIT Green and the Green Team.
To see the campus terrace working by April 2019 is the currentgoal. Kush Patel, a Civil Engineering sophomore, is a proponent of the revival of the garden along with NJIT Green.
Patelsaid, “The campus terrace is currently one of the most underutilized spaces on campus,” and the garden would serve “to beautify the terrace so that more students can spend time with friends or do work [there].” With the return of a campus garden, things can only get greener from here.
Photo credit: Shubham Gupta | The Vector