UTD Eco Hub

Students preparing the soil.

In fall 2021, The Office of Sustainability launched its brand-new UTD Eco Hub, which is a hive for student leadership for sustainability on campus and in our community. The facility is located next to the new water tower on Synergy Park Blvd across from Point North Park.

The facility features about 20,000 square feet of high-quality soil, built with the compost that was on site from the compost operations at the location, and an apiary where students can participate in the care for the honeybees while learning from UTD’s experts, Dr. Scott Rippel and Dr. Christina Thompson.

Students sitting in a circle around some gardening supplies.

The farm is guided by principles of organic farming, including the avoidance of harsh pesticides and herbicides. We grow produce in twelve sections, each dedicated to a different seasonal plant family and managed by 6-7 volunteers, who have the freedom to make decisions about the layout, planting, and maintenance of the plot. Before a new growing season, the plant families are assigned to a new plot in a process called “crop rotation,” which ensures that the soil microbiome maintains its diversity and reduces the depletion of any one macronutrient over time.

The UTD Eco Hub is intended to be student led, with the primary focus of the microfarm being food production for food insecure communities through the Comet Cupboard and the North Texas Food Bank. We also expect that the Eco Hub will become an area for students interested in sustainability issues to convene, provide service, build community, and provide education and outreach to peers.

Interested in learning more and getting involved with the launch of the UTD Eco Hub? Every semester we look for new student leaders to volunteer recurringly on the farm 10 hours each month and on regularly scheduled workdays, typically on Saturday mornings. We post information about new volunteer openings on our social media and through our newsletter when positions become available.