McDermott Scholars Gift Eco Hub Greenhouse

December 1, 2023

A view of the Eco Hub showing the new greenhouse.

In fall 2023, the UTD Eco Hub took a significant step toward enhancing its mission of sustainability and community engagement, thanks to the support of the 2018 Class of McDermott scholars. This transformative donation established a greenhouse at the Eco Hub, growing the food production capacity to support food insecure communities. “It will be a gamechanger with regards to our capabilities at the microfarm and for the educational opportunities we can provide at the Eco Hub,” said Gary Cocke, Sustainability Director.

A view of the exterior of the new greenhouse showing its translucent walls.

The Eco Hub, launched in the fall of 2021, has evolved into a vibrant center for sustainable practices and student-led initiatives. Located at the center of the microfarm, the recently constructed 20x24 ft greenhouse stands as a direct outcome of the McDermott scholars’ generous donation. This addition extends the growing season bolstering food production serving as a resource to cultivate a variety of crops, enabling the Eco Hub to increase contributions to the Comet Cupboard and other community food pantries.

A view of the interior of the new greenhouse showing its ventilation system.

The McDermott scholars’ donation serves as a catalyst for expanding the environmental stewardship and experiential learning opportunities at the Eco Hub, signifying an investment in the well-being of the student community.

Avery McKitrick, Sr. Sustainability Coordinator, is especially grateful for the donation commenting “This greenhouse will not only save our garden valuable time and money but will also give students the chance to learn how to manage a greenhouse and start vegetables from seed — both interesting and valuable skills for a world with increasing focus on job functions that promote sustainability and self-sufficiency.”

The Office of Sustainability’s mission is to engage the UT Dallas community as a catalyst and champion for environmental stewardship and social responsibility while fostering a culture of sustainability evident in all aspects of the campus experience.

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