Legacy Garden

The Legacy Garden is a living laboratory where the Saint Mary’s community can enhance academic learning and achievement, promote physical and emotional health, encourage organic practices, and cultivate empathy for people and the planet. It is managed under the philosophy, ethics, and principles of permaculture and regenerative biodynamic practices

The Legacy Garden is a half-acre campus garden where a diverse range of organic food, flowers, herbs, and fruit trees are grown. The garden is also home to several thriving bee hives and worm bins. In the garden, there are several spaces to sit, be mindful, and enjoy the outdoors. Named “The Legacy Garden” by the Class of 2012.

Since its inception, the garden has been a project that involves diverse stakeholders within the SMC community. Students, staff, and faculty have contributed hundreds of service hours in the garden—planting, cultivating, building structures, and helping to sustain this picturesque resource—so that it continues to function effectively as a living, thriving, educational laboratory. Additionally, the garden maintains an active and ongoing partnership with CILSA, providing a site where many students each semester may fulfill their Community Engagement requirements for graduation. 

The Legacy Garden produces thousands of pounds of fresh produce each year, much of which shows up in the menu offerings at Oliver Dining Hall. Students, faculty, and staff who help tend the garden also have opportunities to take home some of the bounty that they have helped produce. 

Some of what is grown in the garden is used to teach about preservation methods, herbal medicines, fermentation, and many other subjects. All products created and derived from the garden thus serve a larger goal of enabling members of the community to live more resilient and sustainable lives. These products are shared with students, staff, and faculty during public events and celebrations. 

The Legacy Garden offers community members many opportunities for hands-on learning, from regenerative soil management to making jam. 

Everyone is welcome to work in and enjoy the fruits of the garden!

Want to get involved? Email smcsustainability@stmarys-ca.edu for more info and upcoming volunteer hours

 Special thanks to Cheryl Jones and Earthbound Farm for their generous support to launch this garden, and to The Foundation for Sustainability & Innovation for funding the purchase of a greenhouse.