Sustainability at the University of Maryland

Food Gardens

Campus Food Gardens

  • Am Ha'Aretz Hillel Garden - Am Ha’Aretz is the University of Maryland’s primary Jewish environmental group. Founded in 2009, it has created an organic and sustainable garden on Hillel property and transformed the front yard into a zone of education, community, tranquility, and sustainability. Am Ha’Aretz fosters a culture of environmental education, creativity, and activism through hands-on garden work and by teaching students about Jewish environmentalism, sustainable and healthy living, and social justice. You can email them at
  • Public Health Garden - The Public Health Garden at the University of Maryland, College Park, is a student teaching and community garden demonstrating sustainable agriculture and environmental best practices in support of public, environmental and community health. You can contact them through email at
  • Rooftop Community Garden - The Rooftop Community Garden embodies and inspires urban sustainability through hands on urban agriculture and food justice education. We seek to explore where our food comes and how to grow, preserve, prepare, and eat food in a way that is culturally appropriate and regenerative to our bioregion. You can contact them at
  • St. Mary's Garden - The St. Mary's Language House Garden Club provides gardening and horticultural experience to the staff, students, and Univ. of Md community. You can email them at

Off-Campus Extension Gardens

  • Sheridan Street Community Garden - Operated by University of Maryland Extension, the Community Garden is located at the Center for Educational Partnership in Riverdale, MD. With 47 plots, the garden serves individuals, families, and community groups. Gardeners use their plots to grow food; crops include tomatoes, okra, corn, watermelon, and more. People sign up for their plots each spring and pay a nominal fee to cover the cost of shared expenses.

What is Sustainable Food?

  • According to the Food, Agriculture, Conservation and Trade Act of 1990, sustainable agriculture is “an integrated system of plant and animal production practices, having a site-specific application, that will:
    • Satisfy human food and fiber needs;
    • Enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends;
    • Make the most efficient use of non-renewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls;
    • Sustain the economic viability of farm operations; and
    • Enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.”

    Sustainable food is produced from sustainable agricultural systems and has specific attributes related to the production systems, labor practices, and distance traveled.