Service Learning Project Assignment Options

This assignment consists of different portions to be completed weekly, as outlined below. Following the weekly tasks will help you complete the project by its due date in Week Four.

In Week One, select one of the following assignments:

Option 1: Organic Community Vegetable Garden Project

Option 2: Impact of Buying Local Produce on Sustainability

Option 3: Agricultural Land Loss

There are weekly assignment due dates presented below each option.

Option 1: Organic Community Vegetable Garden Project

Due in Week One:

Select an unused area in your neighborhood that can be converted into an organic vegetable garden for the local community or charity. Possibilities include an abandoned lot, an industrial or business park, a rooftop, a churchyard, a community park, or a local forest preserve.

Due in Week Two:

Begin filling out the Week Four planning document to develop a plan that incorporates the principles of sustainability into your project.

Due in Week Three:

Complete the Week Four planning document to develop a plan that incorporates the principles of sustainability into your project.

Due in Week Four:

Write a 700- to 1,050-word letter to the landowner requesting use of the space for a garden. Outline the benefits of a having an organic garden within the community and include points from the completed planning document.

Submit your letter and the completed planning document.

Option 1: Organic Community Vegetable Garden Project Planning Document

Steps and Resources Needed Explanation (include any advantages and disadvantages)

Relation to Sustainable Agriculture
Locate a suitable area in your community
Identify landowner and other interested parties
Points to include in the letter:
Why does the community need an organic garden?
Which soil practices will you use to achieve sustainability?
Which ecological practices will you use to create a resilient garden?
How will you use ecological concepts and species diversity to control pests?
Where will you purchase seeds? Are the seeds organic?
How will you manage your garden plots? Will they be rented out?
How do organic community gardens address some of claims made by proponents of industrial agriculture?
What are the environmental, local business, and socio-economic benefits of your garden? How might you address any disadvantages?

Option 2: Impact of Buying Local Produce on Sustainability

Due in Week One:

Research options for buying locally grown produce in your state or in neighboring states. In addition to conducting background research using case studies, you can research your local grocery store, U-pick farms, or farmers’ markets to determine which locally grown produce is available.

Due in Week Two:

Use the evidence you have gathered to explain how buying locally promotes agricultural sustainability and supports the local economy.

Begin filling out the Week Four planning document to develop a plan that incorporates the principles of sustainability into your project.

Due in Week Three:

Complete the Week Four planning document to develop a plan that incorporates the principles of sustainability into your project.

Due in Week Four:

Write a 750- to 1,050-word article for your local newspaper that summarizes the findings listed in your planning document.

Submit your newspaper article and the completed planning document.

Option 2: Impact of Buying Local Produce on Sustainability Planning Document

Steps and Resources Needed Explanation (include any advantages and disadvantages) Relation to Sustainable Agriculture

Research stores in your area that sell locally grown produce. (Locally grown produce is from your state and neighboring states.)

Conduct research on these stores to determine which fresh produce is grown locally. You may use in-store or online sales flyers.

Locate any U-pick farms or farmers’ markets to determine which locally grown produce is available.

Points to include in the article:

Research results including stores and farms where people can buy locally grown produce.

How can growing local produce promote sustainable agriculture?

How do imports of produce from other countries affect agricultural sustainability and your local socioeconomic conditions?

How can supporting locally grown food address claims made by proponents of industrial farming and sustainable agriculture?

How can supporting local farms affect community business patterns?

How does support of local farms affect a community’s socioeconomic conditions?

Conclude the article with suggestions and reasons why stores should increase their selection of locally grown produce.

Option 3: Agricultural Land Loss

Due in Week One:

Determine the amount of agricultural land lost to non-agricultural uses (such as housing development, strip malls, and so on) in your state or area by using the historical function on a virtual map of Earth. You can find a virtual map online by typing “map of earth” into an Internet search engine.

Due in Week Two:

Determine the reasons for farmland decline and provide suggestions for improving the sustainability of remaining farms. You can obtain data from local newspapers and websites to determine the reasons and magnitude of agricultural land loss.

Begin filling out the Week Four planning document to develop a plan that incorporates the principles of sustainability into your project.

Due in Week Three:

Complete the Week Four planning document to develop a plan that incorporates the principles of sustainability into your project.

Due in Week Four:

Create a 10- to 12-slide Microsoft® PowerPoint® presentation that raises awareness of agricultural land loss and provides suggestions for the most effective methods for sustainably managing the remaining farmland.

Explain the importance of maintaining local sustainable farmland for your community.

Include customized historical and recent maps using a virtual map program.

· For Local Campus students, these are 10- to 15-minute oral presentations accompanied by 10- to12-slide Microsoft® PowerPoint® presentations. Students must also provide a 3- to 5-minute oral summary of their service learning project and their findings.

· For Online and Directed Study students, these are 10 to 12 Microsoft® PowerPoint® slides with detailed speaker notes totaling 700 to 1,050 words.

Submit your presentation and the completed planning document.

Option Three: Agricultural Land Loss Planning Document

Steps and Resources Needed Explanation (include any advantages and disadvantages)

Relation to Sustainable Agriculture
Using a virtual map of Earth, estimate how much agricultural land has been lost in your state or area. Determine the reasons for the land loss.
Develop two maps of Earth: one historical and one recent.

Use the map legend to estimate how many square miles of land have been lost over your selected period.

Research sources such as newspaper articles or websites to determine the reasons that the land was converted to non-agricultural uses.
Points to include in the PowerPoint®
What steps can the local community take to sustainably manage the remaining farmland?
Which sustainable farm practices can be used in your area? Consider ecological principles, species diversity, and soil management.
How can support of local farms address claims made by proponents of industrial farming and sustainable agriculture?
What changes in community business patterns might you expect if the remaining farmland is preserved and sustainably managed?
How can preserving and sustainably managing the remaining farmland affect local socioeconomic conditions?
Conclude the presentation with suggestions and reasons why local farmland should be preserved.