Ruthie Schwab ’09 started the Garden Project in September 2006 and broke ground with the help of other students, faculty, administrators and staff outside of Forbes College in April 2007. The original pilot garden plot (55’x12′) was designed and planted along the south wall of Forbes. With the success of the pilot, the Garden Project received approval to expand to the 1.5 acre plot at 79 Alexander Street. Ruthie worked as Garden Project Coordinator during the summer of 2007 with Ben Elga ’08 and Diana Bonaccori ’08 through the Office of Sustainability and the Princeton Environmental Institute. In the fall of 2007, the School of Architecture hosted a student design competition for 79 Alexander Street planned by the Garden Project and AdHoc, an ARC graduate student initiative.
Since then, the Princeton Garden Project has continued to expand. With funding from the Magic Fund, we were able to construct a small greenhouse to extend our growing season, and we also added blueberry bushes and apple trees to our plot. In the summer of 2016, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Sigrid Adriaenssens constructed a Rammed Earth wall in the garden through “Campus as Lab” funding, to explore how this sustainable building material (made from compressed local soil) can function in New Jersey’s humid climate.
The Garden Project remains a student-run initiative and a space for learning, growing, collaborating and experimenting. It is an ideal outdoor space to host events, classes, or projects. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you see further areas for collaboration!
For a little more history, here is the link to the old garden project website: