Champlain College Student Brings Passions to Community Garden

Brendon Johnson ’16/ Champlain College News

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Stratis working in the Community Garden

Tucked away next to the Rowell Annex is a community garden that this summer is serving nearly 30 people’s summer vegetable needs. The Champlain Community Garden, founded in 2011, is in answer to numerous requests from students, faculty and staff.

The 27 garden plots are located on the southern side of Rowell Annex and available for individual use by Champlain College community members. This summer, sophomore Nicole Stratis, an Environmental Policy major, has been hired to help oversee the garden.

Stratis fell in love with the environmental issues during her senior year of high school and joined with Champlain’s sustainability efforts on campus after Christina Erickson, director of Sustain Champlain, spoke at her environmental issues class first semester. “At that point, I knew I wanted to be part of the school’s efforts towards sustainability,” explained Stratis.

In addition to her new position as the Community Garden Manager, Stratis has also been involved with the Eco-Rep program on campus and worked to track the local food the college has purchased. Stratis help set the framework for what Champlain College considers local and went through invoices every week to in order to track it.

Part of her job this summer is to facilitate monthly community events for the gardeners;  send out bi-weekly emails with garden updates and information; perform general maintenance of the garden; be a resource for gardeners talk with; keep an up-to-date gardening budget, and help develop ways to incorporate the garden into the college curriculum.

When asked about her motivation for becoming a part of the community garden Stratis said, “I saw a great opportunity to bring both passion and education into one project. My yearning for growing my own food and also being part of a community comes together along with a chance to apply what I have learned in class.  I get hands on experience with the land and people while gaining new knowledge and wisdom.”
All plots in the garden are full for the 2014-2015 school year, but if you would like to get involved in other ways, email Nicole at or Christina Erickson at

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