B Street Farm now officially falls under the Center for Civic Engagements supervision and jurisdiction.
Many students are unfamiliar with the permaculture project, located less than a mile from campus. B Street is a completely self-reliant, majorly volunteer-based, farm that focuses on providing inspiration and information about environmentally sensitive and sustainable living practices.
Because of its lacking resources and the desire for it to become interdisciplinary and incorporated with the environmental studies curriculum, Pacific administration pushed for the CCE to take over the permaculture project and begin making major modifications to the farm.
Director for the Center of Civic Engagement Stephanie Stokamer said she has a lot of ideas and goals for the new direction of the farm.
“There’s so much potential to do even more with the right organizational operation,” Stokamer said. “CCE has been growing so much and we have the facilities to really devote to its development.”
The organizational operation has already begun with building a stronger infrastructure. Stokamer has implemented a new advisory board, initiated regular staff meetings, and is working on establishing a working internet connection and office phone.
Stokamer has also increased the staff and said she is confident to have people on board who are passionate about B Street and looking for a new direction.
Originally, the majority of the staff at the farm were volunteers from the university. They had to fit the farm into their already busy teaching schedules and Stokamer said this didn’t allow them to devote the time the farm needed.
“I don’t want a bunch of things to be tied to one person anymore,” said Stokamer.
Cosmetically, the CCE plans to install a working bathroom to the farm but Stokamer said it will be at least a year before installation begins. They are also working on building a Facebook page, which Stokamer expects to be up in a matter of weeks.
Along with the changes already made Stokamer aims for the farm to become a known place on campus by making more developed connections with students and gaining more staff support.
For this goal to become a reality, curricular programming and partnerships with science classes will begin to be implemented as early as spring semester.
Stokamer said it will be another year or two before the farm has a new name and presence on campus but she is confident it will get there.
“We’ve learned that B Street was a huge part of their experiences here,” said Stokamer. “It provides so many opportunities for learning that you can’t get in the classroom.”
Stokamer responded to the recent controversy at the farm, including the firing of Miguel Cervantes, by saying she is looking towards a positive future.
“A lot of people know there has been some controversy. It’s not pleasant, but it happens,” said Stokamer. “This is a time for us to collectively look at moving forward in a really positive way.”