With its intense color of soil spread to the city and its historical texture, Perugia is a city embraces the green as well. That much existence of green in the city is of course how fertile is the soil is and also because of the interest in the community. But besides we can’t ignore the contributions of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Department of Perugia University which was founded in the early 14th century. San Pietro Gardens, which is under the administration of the related faculty shows a good example of urban and collective agriculture and is located around an important historical point of the city, the San Pietro Monastery with the faculty.
You can reach this touristic and academic area by walking 1.5 km from the city center to the south. As you go around the campus, it is easy to understand how lucky the students are.
By the late 19th century, this land was surrounded by vegetable gardens, fields for herbaceous and arboreal plants. However this 1700 m2 of garden was ignored and abandoned in the following decades.
After a long period, in 2015, this land was brought back to life with a project of the Green Team, a volunteer group including academics whose aim is the maintenance of all green areas within the campus.
Later on, Umbra Institute which is a US based academic platform and Bortobello Association which works on active citizenship as a non-profit organization became the partners of this action as well. In addition, the participation of other educational institutions like a primary school and a kinder garden enriched this action. Today, this community garden is being managed by the stakeholders, local individuals and the students, under the supervision of Green Team.
When the land is reviewed, the experimental studies of the students and the plantings under the different stakeholders’ sign capture the attention. It is also the right of the animals to benefit from the garden, however the cats could damage the plants. This is why they have a separate setup sufficient for them, so that a possible harm is seem to be prevented.
In addition, the open spaces in the campus that the students spend time socially and/or study seem to be very well maintained.
The academic volunteers emphasize that urban agriculture, gardening and this kind of community gardens require efforts mostly. Although these efforts are on voluntary basis, especially the maintenance studies of the plants needs to be disciplined. So it is obvious that it is only possible to adopt such an approach when all the participants internalize this aim of urban gardening. We believe that the common actions of municipalities, universities and civil groups will encourage the individuals’ interest and participation.
PS: Many thanks to Dr.Chiara Paffarini and RA.David Grohmann for taking the time to walk around the university campus and sharing all their knowledge with sincerity.