Student Garden Revitalization Project

64% of $150,000 goal
This campaign ended on May 16, 2022, but you can still make a gift to Pitzer College by clicking here!

The Pitzer Student Garden History

In 1994, the late John Rodman, professor emeritus of environmental studies, wanted to provide Pitzer students the opportunity to learn and practice environmentally responsible agriculture in Southern California. On a sunny day in March, he led students, faculty, and staff on a physical undertaking of enormous magnitude—to convert the 12,000-square-foot Mead Hall parking lot into a dry land garden containing fruit trees, vines, and vegetables. Professor Emerita Kathryn Miller remembers the many days of jackhammers, shovels, and wheelbarrows pressed into service, as well as the endless stream of dump trucks loaded by hand as Rodman’s “farm project” vision was turned into a reality. Despite grueling work, months of sieving through rocks, and bringing in soil, Professor Paul Faulstich ’79 says that creating the Student Garden was a “joyous and community-wide effort.”

Fast forward to today: The Student Garden needs the collaborative power of the Pitzer community once again.

Even before the pandemic forced Pitzer to close campus in March 2020, the Student Garden had become fallow, with its beloved chicken coop aged and beyond repair. But improvements are underway! Members of the Pitzer Student Garden Club have worked remotely for the better part of a year with students, faculty, staff, and volunteer consultants to develop a Student Garden revitalization plan. This plan will transform this iconic space, ensuring it remains a touchstone in the academic and social life of our students.

The Pitzer Student Garden Revitalization Project

Your gift to the Student Garden Fund is vital and will help this student-run and student-managed garden thrive once again by providing:

  • New chickens—four varieties of hens known for their prolific egg laying and gentle personalities
  • Deluxe hen house and chicken run with automated lighting, water, and feeding system
  • Chicken Cam for remote visits (see below to learn how you can name a chicken!)
  • Wages for Student Garden Managers to provide year-round support, including care during winter and summer breaks
  • Updated irrigation system
  • Raised planter beds to augment grow areas for rows of crops
  • Shed to store garden tools and supplies, including seeds and chicken feed
  • Community billboards and informational garden signs
  • Additional nighttime lighting
  • And more, including improved pathways and fencing to create a welcoming environment on the Pitzer campus and cover ground preparation costs (mulch, compost, and soil)

Donors who make a leadership gift of $15,000 or more will have the opportunity to name a new hen! Yes, you can name a chicken! If interested, email for details.

Please give to the Student Garden Fund today!

Special thanks to the Student Garden Working Group.

(And to all the students, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends who came before them!)


Anthony Shing ’24

Callie Radecki ’22

Claire Manning ’22

Em Kuhn ’22

Tommy Shenoi ’24

& the rest of the Student Garden Club


Faculty and Staff

Patrice Langevin, Mark Crawbuck, Nicolas Galindo—Facilities and Campus Services

Susan Phillips and Arthur Levine ’14—Robert Redford Conservancy

Zenia Gutierrez—The Grove House
Office of College Advancement and Communications


Pro Bono Consultants

John Beck—Carrier Johnson + Culture Architects

Steve Gonzales—Montecito Coops

Bruce Mills and Dale Hawley—Hamilton Construction

Steve Lang—Landscape Architect, MIG

The new Student Garden Revitalization Plan renderings.

No updates for this campaign.

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