project leader
Ryan G
1800 N. Dixboro Rd.
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New video!

the project


Our project focuses on establishing and enhancing community and education at the Campus Farm. Users of the Farm will develop the requisite skills to meet today’s sustainability challenges, deriving a variety of solutions that are place-based and participatory in nature. Our objective is to position the Campus Farm as a community hub and premier educational space for sustainable food.

We are raising funds to develop the Campus Farm as a living-learning laboratory, a collaborative space for the community to explore adaptive local solutions to global food issues in the form of small-scale, on-site experiments. The funds will be used to build both the infrastructure and relationships necessary to support the mission of the Campus Farm, which is to build a strong community network, promote education, and provide sustainable food.

Living-learning laboratory projects will be initiated through a RFP procedure in which any community member may propose a project to be incubated in the Campus Farm space. Preliminary proposals have included an outdoor kitchen, outdoor classroom space, art installations, educational signage, websites and mobile apps, renewable energy projects, an irrigation system, and permaculture demonstration plots. As one can see, our project bridges the collective interest of many disciplines and provides an open table for theory and practice to merge into tangible progress. Innovative research and ideas will be on display for visitors from the campus and community to experience first-hand. To support student-initiated projects, we are raising funds to start a student materials fund.

the steps

Project Timeline

August 2013 — April 2014

August 2013

  • Community event: inaugural Ann Arbor Sharing Summit at the Farm
  • Partnership and community network-building (ongoing)
  • Educational curricula research and development (ongoing)
  • Develop educational signage concepts
  • Physical structure installation
    • Experiential learning and demonstration plots

September 2013

  • Community event: UM Student Welcome Week Fair at the Farm
  • Announcement of project competition

October 2013

  • Community event: Harvest Festival at the Farm
  • Community event: Food Week

November 2013

  • Implement and pilot test educational curricula
  • University-wide student competition: project ideas due

December 2013

  • Competition projects selected for funding

January 2014

  • Evaluation of educational curricula
  • Evaluation of community and student users of the Farm

February 2014

  • Website launch
  • Launch social media strategy

March 2014

  • Video and e-book development

April 2014

  • Physical structure installations
    • Student-designed and built outdoor stove
    • Outdoor seating and food-prep installation
    • Educational signage installation
    • Accessible pathways
  • Community event: Presentation of project and results

why we're doing it

With the growing impacts of climate change and threats to a cheap and abundant supply of energy, the need to foster resiliency and adaptation at the local scale is increasingly pertinent. Colleges and universities provide a ready-made platform for students and communities to pre-familiarize themselves with future alternative scenarios and experiment with small-scale adaptations. The campus farm in particular is perfectly poised for this role.  The unifying nature of food serves as a gateway to building networks for community engagement. This project envisions the UM Campus Farm as a living-learning laboratory, a test kitchen for small-scale experiments to explore a myriad of possible solutions that are participatory and place-based.



Student materials fund for living-learning lab projects


$5,000 is our target number for the student materials fund we are setting up to support student-initiated projects at the Farm.  We believe $5,000 is a reasonable amount to support dozens of student projects and ensure the sustainability of resources through the year.

ioby Platform Fee $35
3rd Party Credit Card Processing Fee (3%) $150


RAISED = $2,823

Budget update:

While this fund will not be as large as we had hoped, we believe the amount we've raised to start it is still more than sufficient to provide valuable funding for several substantial student projects. We will select those project proposals that we believe make the most efficient use of funding--demonstrating both fiscal responsibility and potential for substantial impact. We will continue to seek out opportunities to make the fund sustainable for future years, and encourage future managers of the project to do the same.


New video!

Thank you!


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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