As a UGA Service-Learning Fellow in 2012–13, I incorporated a community engagement project into a an existing second-semester graphic design course. My students in ARGD 3060 worked on developing a graphic identity for UGArden, the teaching and student-run community gardens on campus that focus on sustainable food production.
Initially, the UGArden approached us with various design needs to support their branding efforts, including creating graphics for an electric delivery truck. The project has helped UGArden increase awareness in the Athens and UGA communities about their services, as well as promoted UGA’s Local Food Systems Certificate. The students gained valuable experience collaborating in groups, grappling with concrete user needs, and making presentations about their work. They also thought critically about a local community issue while developing a comprehensive design plan spanning various media.
This 2018 article points to the surpassed expectations and continued success of UGArden: “Eight years ago, university administrators were hesitant to approve a student-run garden near UGA’s campus. However, UGArden has exceeded the university’s expectations. The garden benefits UGA students who are eager to develop independent agricultural research projects and also provides a space for UGA professors to teach experiential agricultural courses. From establishing garden plots at nearby middle schools to donating crops to local hunger-fighting programs, UGArden has displayed a steadfast dedication to serving community members across Athens-Clarke County.”