At Campus Garden, volunteers “dig-in” to the school year

An Aug. 21 event gave students a crash course on sustainability efforts at Wake Forest


Vanessa Christabel

Students gather weekly at Campus Garden to volunteer.

Addison Schmidt, Staff Writer

Whether it’s a 90-degree day in August or a 40-degree day in February, one thing that remains nearly constant throughout the academic year is the presence of students at Wake Forest’s Campus Garden on Sunday evenings. 

On Sunday, Aug. 21, the activity in the garden looked a bit different than the typical harvesting, planting, and mulching that students help out with most weeks. The Campus Garden and Office of Sustainability hosted new students for a general introduction to sustainability efforts on campus. The afternoon included food, a tour of the garden, and the opportunity to meet and hold the garden’s resident chickens: Jeffrey, Herb, and Gloria. 

Lila Gneiting, a junior economics major from Upstate New York, got involved with the Campus Garden last year when she began coming to weekly garden hours on Sundays. This year, Gneiting is one of two students that were chosen to serve as Campus Garden interns through the Office of Sustainability. 

“I went to some of [the Office of Sustainability’s] interest events like Let’s Taco-Bout Sustainability [last year],” Gneiting said of her involvement with the Office of Sustainability prior to her internship. “[Then], I got very involved with the Campus Garden on Sundays [and] through that I got involved in some of their smaller leadership positions.” 

After meeting in front of Wait Chapel on Sunday afternoon, the Office of Sustainability interns led freshmen towards north campus and across Polo Road to the Campus Garden, located next to the sophomore parking lot. 

Once they arrived, students were served plant-based food from Harvest Table Culinary Group, the company that serves Wake Forest’s dining halls.

Daniella Coeppicus, a freshman from South Florida, is passionate about sustainability, particularly sustainable fashion, and plans to minor in Environmental Studies. She raved about the food at the event. 

“We enjoyed some awesome food [at the Dig-In], it was really good,” Coeppicus said. 

The Dig-In’s casual nature allowed new students to get to know the Office of Sustainability interns.

“I got to speak with the interns, which was really nice,” Coeppicus said. “[It was nice] getting to know the team and getting to know who I’ll be working with [on campus sustainability efforts] in the future.” 

Along with an intended minor in environmental studies, Daniella plans to pursue her passion for sustainability by joining the Sustainability Leadership Group (SLG), a group run by the Office of Sustainability that allows freshmen to get involved in sustainability efforts on campus. 

While the Office of Sustainability loves the involvement of freshmen like Coeppicus who are already passionate about the environment, all students are welcome to get involved in sustainability efforts.  

“The goal of the Dig-In was to let new students know about opportunities to get involved with the Office of Sustainability, and especially with the Campus Garden,” Gneiting said of the thought process behind hosting the event. 

For students who weren’t at the Dig-In, there are plenty of other opportunities to get involved with sustainability on campus as the year progresses. 

“The most direct way [to get involved] is to check out the Campus Garden and connect with the folks there,” Gneiting said. “Then there’s the CLT (Community Leadership Team) where students lead other students in gardening.” 

Students interested in getting involved with the Office of Sustainability can volunteer at regular garden hours at the Campus Garden on Sunday evenings from 5-7 p.m., attend CLT on weekdays from 5-6 p.m., or, for first-year students, join SLG. 

Those seeking more information should follow @sustainablewfu on Instagram and visit