Tag Archives: Life and Entertainment

DJ Ziggy becomes first-ever winner of UWF Battle of the DJs

By Mary Jo Gruber


CAB’s first ever Battle of the DJs drew in a large crowd on Thursday night. Photo by Mary Jo Gruber

Staff Writer

The University of West Florida Campus Activity Board held its first-ever Battle of the DJs on Thursday, Sept. 15, and DJ Ziggy walked away with the title of UWF DJ King.

The event featured three DJs from the Gulf Coast region who competed for the title.

Ziggy went up against fellow DJs Mr. Ooowee and J5 in three rounds of music-mixing challenges. The themes for the first two rounds were “old school” and “artist mash-up.” The DJs were given five minutes each to put their best musical mix forward.

The final round, called “a minute to win it,” allowed a final 60 seconds for each performer to win over the crowd in front of a panel of judges consisting of UWF faculty and staff members.

The event took place in the Commons Auditorium and was free to all UWF students. The room was lit with bright neon lights and strobes as attendees danced and sang along to their favorite tunes.

The event MC was B.Rob, a UWF student and aspiring entertainer. He encouraged the crowd to document their experience on Snapchat and to utilize the filters created for the event on the app. Many students did and were able to share videos and pictures of themselves with “CAB Battle of the DJs,” as an overlay to their friends on Snapchat.

“We’ve really never seen an event like this at UWF,” said Jay-Ana Benavente, CAB Co-President. “It’s been really nerve-wracking, but we’re all really excited.”

Benavente said her fellow CAB Co-President Lonsard Dennis found the inspiration for the event in successful DJ battles they heard about from other school campus activity boards. Preparation for the event had been underway since June.

Eryka Wallace, assistant to the dean of communication in University College, was among the staff members selected for the judges’ panel, and said she was excited to participate.

“They have provided with us with a scoring sheet, but what I’m really most looking for is the audience interaction that the DJs can bring,” she said.

Wallace also serves as an advisor to the African-American Student Association and has been a judge for previous CAB events. “I’ve been a part of judging for the CAB Talent Show as well as some pageants, but nothing really quite like this,” she said.

Other faculty and staff members included on the judging panel were Erica Taylor, assistant professor of biology, Christopher Hawkins, graduate assistant for reservations, Allison Dahleen, assistant operations manager of the University Commons and Tilden Whitfield, program specialist.

UWF jazz band welcomes Washington High players for combined concert

Sydney O’Gwynn

Staff Writer

The University of West Florida’s Department of Music held its jazz band concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Center for Fine and Preforming Arts in its Mainstage Theater.

The concert was different than most, because the UWF jazz band teamed up with the Booker T. Washington High School jazz band, directed by Lawrence Young, Jr.

UWF jazz band director Joseph Spaniola said it is special and rewarding to have Young back at UWF directing his own band, because Young is a UWF alumnus.

In a concert featuring classic songs by artists ranging from the Beatles to Stevie Wonder, Spaniola said he tries to select pieces to cater to the players in the band.

“We looked for pieces that fit our players; to lift them up as musicians but also teach them something in the process,” Spaniola said.

The program started off by introducing the high school’s band as they played three songs: “Shiny Stockings,” “Blue Rondo a La Turk” and “Cissy Strut.”

After those songs, the high school musicians exited the stage and the UWF band played seven pieces themselves, plus an encore piece, “All’s Well in Wellington.”

Then, in the final piece of the night, “Louisiana Hot Sauce,” the two bands played together. The song featured many solos with instruments such as the trumpet, saxophone, piano and drums.

Neil Teller, who plays the alto saxophone in the UWF jazz band, said his favorite piece of the night was “Softly from My Window” because he likes the composer, Sammy Nestico. Teller also said that the two bands had gotten together earlier that day and split into sectionals to discuss the different styles of their position’s instrument.

“It was really interesting,” Teller said. “That’s something I really enjoy.”

Teller also said he liked seeing the young, up-and-coming players.

“It’s really nice to see that there’s some good talent in the area,” he said. “There’s going to be some good players coming in.”

Jacob Dearrington, who plays trumpet in the UWF jazz band, said his favorite piece was the encore, because of the fast pace and the swing as well as the trumpet section in the piece. Dearrington, who was a featured soloist in the concert, said he loves playing the trumpet and performing in front of people.

“I like to see the smiles,” he said. “I love the applause and the happiness it brings to the people.”

Dearrington said both groups learned a lot from the collaboration.

“They got to learn from us and we got to learn to teach,” he said. “It’s a good experience for both of us.”

Spaniola said he liked the outcome he got from both groups playing together.

“They play well together,” he said. “Combining the groups was a lot of fun. That was the best part about it; we had fun.”

UWF social work and service learning in Guatemala: A student’s perspective


Photo by Kenneth King.

Kenneth King

Contributing Writer

When riding through the streets of Guatemala City, one cannot sit still. It is impossible. The roads are an endless path of cracks and potholes. You shift right, left, and then right again as the tires take a beating from an already beaten road. The honking never ceases, it just becomes a part of the conversation.

Fearless motorcyclists whiz by as they navigate between buses, trucks, and potholes while their girlfriends hold on for their lives. The fumes spewing out of rotten exhaust pipes assault one’s sense of smell, as everything begins to smell like burning trash.

It was good to get away from Pensacola, and an even better to get away from Guatemala City as we headed eastward to Zacapa.

Zacapa is a rural area that truckers pass through on a regular basis. Tourists are scarce in this part of Guatemala. It is where we, a contingent of University of West Florida students, spent the majority of our time. We handed out donations and learned about the social work programs of the country, which take place in women’s cooperatives, hospitals, and shelters.

However, one scene that still enters my mind everyday was a local dumpsite.

The smell of burning trash was so piercing that it induced a spell of slight dizziness. Collections of plastic were overflowed from black garbage bags. Dogs trotted and scavenged through the grey, toxic dirt – their rib cages exposed beneath their golden fur.

This was the Teculután dump. This filth was also home to roughly three hundred families. It was home for mothers, fathers and children who lived in makeshift tents.

Vultures picked through the trash side by side with the families. The vultures plucked what they wanted with their sharp beaks. The families used their dirt-coated hands.

I could not help but to be overwhelmed with emotion. The longer we stayed in Zacapa, the farther away we were from the United States and its problems. Now, however, we were face-to-face with the problems of Guatemala.

Unlike developed nations, there is no safety net for the poor in Guatemala. Those who fall sick must bring their own supplies to already overcrowded hospitals. We witnessed this firsthand at the Zacapa Health Clinic. We saw families huddled against the walls as they waited for their turn to be treated.

Fortunately, not all moments were those of sorrow. The non-governmental organization we worked with, Hearts in Motion (HIM), hosts an annual pool party for children with special needs.

Parents from all over Zacapa made the trip to the waterpark in Torta Mila for a moment of relaxation, while we entertained their kids.

I quickly forgot about any disabilities the second we all entered the water. Despite being foreigners, we were all able to connect with at least one child. At the end of the day, there were no “handicapped” kids—just children who wanted to have fun.

After Zacapa we headed toward the city called Antigua. It is an old colonial city with signature Spanish architecture and cobblestone streets. An iconic volcano towered over the city.

Inhabiting Antigua was every type of person one could find. Some were university students walking in groups, commonly sporting their college t-shirts and large shades. Others were the typical nuclear family looking to ‘get away from it all’. Senior citizens roamed through the narrow streets worry-free, until they had to step over a pothole or cross the street.

Travel writers huddled in trendy restaurants, the kind one might find featured in the New York Times, sipping coffee and working on their laptops. Drunks wandered aimlessly, seeking their escape from their troubles at home. That is, of course, assuming they had a home. Then there were the locals caught in the middle of it all. Everyone had been to Antigua.

A deep sadness struck me on our final day in the country. It is a sadness you feel when you lose someone or something that brought you so much life in a small and intense amount of time.

Those smiling faces, from young to old are something that will remain with me forever. I feel that the worst thing I could have done was not to leave the people I had connected with in such a short amount of time, but to forget about them.

The Service Learning in Guatemala program is a study abroad summer course offered by UWF. The course begins with six preparatory sessions before departing on the ten-day trip.

The course is an initiative of UWF’s Emerge Program and welcomes students from all disciplines.

While in Guatemala, students work with the non-governmental organization Hearts in Motion, in conjunction with local staff. Hearts in Motion provides shelter for disabled and orphaned children, medical supplies for hospitals, assistance for senior citizens and much more.

For more information about the program and HIM, go to http://uwf.edu/ceps/community-and-outreach/emerge/our-faculty/2013-2014-emerge-faculty-fellows/dr-chris-cotten/http://www.heartsinmotion.org/

Where to find your Christmas spirit in Pensacola

The Pensacola Christmas Parade presented by Cox makes its way down Palafox Pl. in Pensacola, Fla., Saturday, December 13, 2014. (Michael Spooneybarger/ Pensacola Today)

The Pensacola Christmas Parade presented by Cox makes its way down Palafox Pl. in Pensacola, Fla., Saturday, December 13, 2014.
Photo courtesy of Michael Spooneybarger/ Pensacola Today

Emily Doyle

Staff Writer

We may not get a white Christmas in Florida, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get in the Christmas spirit by attending these winter events in the area.

University of West Florida’s “A Christmas Carol”

Where: UWF Center for Fine and Performing Arts (Building 82)

When: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11 and 12 and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 13

Why you should go: UWF theater students are planning on raising Christmas spirits with their rendition of the classic story of “A Christmas Carol.” Students with a valid Nautilus Card can attend for free (but tickets are required; get yours at the Commons).
Winter Public Skate Sessions

Where: Pensacola Bay Center, 201 E Gregory St.

When: Dec. 18, 21-23, and 26-30 – Times vary. To stay updated with public skate times, visit the Pensacola Bay Center website.

Why you should go: Because Florida stays pretty warm throughout the year, residents do not get to experience the snow and ice that comes along with a traditional winter. So the Pensacola Bay Center provides us with a little taste of the cold with their public skate sessions.

Pensacola Saenger Theater performances

What’s showing:

  • The Pensacola Children’s Chorus’s “Christmas on the Coast” is 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11 and 12, and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 13
  • The Pensacola Ballet will perform “The Nutcracker,” 7 p.m. Dec. 18 and 19 and 1:30 p.m. Dec. 20
  • Nebraska Theatre Caravan will perform “A Christmas Carol,” at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 21

Where: The Pensacola Saenger Theatre, 118 S. Palafox Place. For tickets for any of these performances, visit the website here.

Why you should go: These classic Christmas tales of hope, joy and family are sure to make your heart grow three sizes this season.

Pensacola Winterfest

Where: Downtown Pensacola

When: Dec. 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23. The first performance starts at 5:30 p.m. Friday nights, and 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday nights. A new performance begins every 15 minutes until 8:45 p.m.

Why you should go: Downtown Pensacola will be transformed into “Christmas Town,” beginning with hot chocolate and having your name called out to be on the Polar Express and then taking you through a Christmas journey. Winterfest will attempt to transport you into your childhood Christmas dream. To get tickets, go to their website here.


Zoo Lights

Where: The Gulf Breeze Zoo, 5701 Gulf Breeze Parkway

When: 5 to 9 p.m. nightly through Dec. 27 (except Christmas Day)

How much: Admission for all ages is $10.

Why you should go: Not only would you be supporting our local zoo by attending this event, but you would get the pleasure of seeing animal themed Christmas lights — and who doesn’t love those? For more information, visit the website.


Pensacola Christmas Parade

Where: Downtown Pensacola

When: 5:15 p.m. Dec. 12

Why you should go: Lights, Christmas music, marching bands, the Blue Angels flight team, Christmas-themed parade floats, and a dancing Santa are all things you will see if you attend this annual parade. For more information and a route map, visit the website here.

A Christmas Carol returns for its 9th annual showing at CFPA

Iqueena Hollis

Staff Writer

“A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas” returns for its ninth season on campus at the Center for Fine and Performing Arts (CFPA) this week.

Performances of the famous play, written by Charles Dickens and adapted by Charles Wilson, began this past weekend and also will be held next weekend in building 82 in the Mainstage Theater. The next performances are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

This adaption has been performed at Houston’s Alley Theatre, Hartford Stage and at the Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. Dozens of members of the UWF and surrounding community came out to support the theater students in their last offering of the semester.

This musical is set in London in the 1840s, and throughout the course of the play, the main character, Scrooge, learns to appreciate others and develops a deeper sense of kindness and compassion.

“This version was a bit different from the others I have seen each fall since freshman year,” said Carlisa Ward, a senior majoring in psychology at UWF who attends all theater performances held at the CFPA. “I enjoyed all of the performances, but this one might be the best yet. Why didn’t they do this sooner?”

With the stress of finals, and the bittersweet arrival of graduation for some, students say going to see the play is a great way to wind down the semester and step into the Christmas spirit.

“‘A Christmas Carol’ was my first time seeing a play here at UWF,” said Amanda Langehennig, a freshman at Pensacola State College. “The message of the play was great for this season; it reminds everyone to enjoy what they have and be nice to others.”

Ticket prices for all CFPA plays are: adults: $16; senior citizens/active military: $12; UWF faculty/staff and non UWF students: $10; children: $5; and UWF students: free. Tickets can be purchased online, at the CFPA box office or at the University Commons Service Desk.

For questions about performances and the theater department, contact Jerre Brisky, director of the Center for Fine and Performing Arts, at 474-6057.

UWF’s Art Gallery presents works of graduating seniors in ‘Synthesis’ exhibit

Kenny Detwyler

Contributing Writer

On Thursday, a new arts showcase took up residency in The Art Gallery (TAG) in the Center for Fine and Performing Arts. The “Synthesis” exhibit is a collection of artwork by six graduating seniors in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program at UWF. This selective program is one for which students must apply and be accepted.

For these students — Andrew Adamson, Kenneth Jordan, Evan Glenny, Elizabeth Guerry, Abigail Harrell and Colleen Jennings — this is a finale of sorts to their artistic career at UWF. “They typically have two years to create a body of work that is essentially their thesis,” said Gallery Director Nicholas Krogin. “I’ve had the opportunity to watch them begin from sophomore level. I’ve had the chance talk about their ideas and their concepts, and what the best way to communicate their ideas is.”

The graduating seniors come from various backgrounds, and each brought unique perspectives to the exhibit. Jordan said it was his desire to “bring back poetry through the visual materialization of psychological isolation and desensitization of sensuality.” He did this through elaborate oil paintings that grace the walls of TAG. Adamson used ceramics in his works that he described as “ambiguous narratives based on past experiences.” Jennings tackled issues of the environment with her exhibit “Products That Ruined the World.”

After working for more than a year on their artwork, it’s no surprise that the artists are passionate about their work. Gurry used her section of the exhibition as a tribute to a grandparent and how dementia has impacted her family; hence the title of her project, “Nana.” She created drawings that represented memories in the human brain.

Harrell’s exhibit, entitled “Made Up,” is project that focuses on makeup usage and the societal beauty standards for women. She was photographed numerous times with varying degrees of makeup in order to show the different standards of beauty that exist in society. “I wanted to do a project based on how people perceive me. I believe that people have different definitions of the word beauty. It’s different for every culture.” Harrell said. “I wanted to emphasize that, because people put too much emphasize on how they look.”

Glenny used her piece of the gallery, “Moist Fur,” to discuss concepts of gender, sexuality, brutality, and discomfort in a way that grasps the viewers’ attention. “I am transgender, and I’ve been struggling with that for a long time, and I don’t typically do personal work. It’s autobiographic for me, and I hope it goes well.” Glenny also said that the characters and imagery were chosen “because of their relationship with aggression, masculinity and the artificial selection that has rendered them all functionally impotent.”

Overall the gallery gives the seniors a chance to shine and to show off some of the hard work they’ve put into the art program. Thursday’s reception was the opening of the exhibit and had strong attendance.

The gallery also was the subject of praise from those who saw it. “I’ve never been to an art gallery, so I didn’t know what to expect, but it’s really incredible,” student Kelsey Lee said.

“It’s really intense in here. There’s a lot to take in,” said student Sara Omlor.

“There’s a lot of variety,” said student Courtney Dwhitworth. “We see our own work within the classroom setting, but to see everyone’s work together in the gallery is very cool.”

The “Synthesis” exhibit will be on display until Dec. 12 at the Center for Fine and Performing Arts. For more information about TAG, visit the website or the gallery’s blog.

Local Mexican restaurants offer authentic cuisine

Tom Moore

Contributing Writer


Photo courtesy of Rio Bravo.

Rio Bravo, Cordova Mall

We all need that extra splash of spice added to our life. Whether it be a business, casual, or family meal, Rio Bravo is the place to be. Nestled in a corner off Bayou Boulevard at Cordova Mall, Rio Bravo brings a tiny slice of a sleepy Mexican villa into the bustle of Pensacola life.

Stop in and unwind – it’s got a great atmosphere, cold drinks and an exceptional lunch menu under $10. While you are there, try out the all-day food and drink specials.

Daily specials include “Create Your Own Favorite Combination,” where you can choose from a wide variety of menu items with two sides. Select up to three for less than $10: enchilada, chimichanga, burrito, taco, tamale, quesadilla, flauta or chile relleno, all served with rice and beans.

And of course, my personal favorite: two-for-one margaritas. Choose from the house margarita, lemon/lime, rocks or frozen. Select any size, all day long.

All meals include complimentary chips, salsa, and a delicious spicy bean dip. All in all, you get a hearty meal, with a great atmosphere and outstanding service.

For a taste of spice, great service and affordable price: five stars.

Rio Bravo has two other area locations: 596 East Nine Mile Road and 3755 Gulf Breeze parkway. Visit their website here.



Photo courtesy of Cactus Flower.

Cactus Flower, 3425 N 12th Ave.

Cactus Flower styles itself as “Authentic California style, Mexican Cuisine.” With a menu encompassing all aspects of Mexican food, it is the first choice for authentic taste on a budget. Founded by Lee Kafeety in 2001, Pensacola became the birthplace of the first Cactus Flower restaurant.

Hoping to gain publicity by word of mouth advertising, Kafeety reached out to local community organizations to help spread the word. One of the organizations that answered this call was the local Star Trek club, the USS Continuum. Led by Captain Jay Gallops, Kafeety offered the group a free lunch to help promote her business.

“The drinks are so cold the glasses are sweating when they reach the table,” Gallops said. “For $7 I got an entree, served with fresh lettuce, cheesy beans, and rice. The waitstaff was fast, courteous and extremely professional. I have lunch there about every two weeks now, and I have yet to be disappointed. I would say for the money, it’s the most authentic Mexican food in town.”

The unique thing I saw on my last visit was the use of electronic hand-held tablets instead of the standard order pad. Orders were typed in by the waitstaff, and at the end of the meal, the amount due was displayed on the screen, the card was swiped, and a receipt was printed right there at the table. Quick, easy, convenient. I never thought I would see waitstaff going digital, but clearly I was mistaken.

For geeky cool, as well as a locally owned business started here in Pensacola, I give Kafeety’s Cactus Flower five stars.

Cactus Flower also has locations on the Pensacola Beach Boardwalk; 6881 West Highway 98; and 8725 Ortega Park drive in Navarre. Visit their website here.

Little Free Libraries: Take a book, leave a book


A Little Free Library at Foxrun and Nine Mile roads.
Photo by Iqueena Hollis.

Iqueena Hollis

Staff Writer

Little Free Library locations are popping up all over the city of Pensacola, and they offer a great way for anyone to read new books and exchange old ones at no cost.

There are about 20 Little Free Library locations in and around the city of Pensacola that can be accessed any time of the day or night. Many of these locations can be found in the downtown and East Hill neighborhood area. The closest one to UWF is at 10191 Sugar Creek drive.

The Little Free Library company is comprised of thousands of locations around the country. The company’s philosophy, according to their website, is, “To promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide and to build a sense of community as we share skills, creativity and wisdom across generations.”

Members of the community who want to set up a location in their neighborhoods can visit the main company site and learn the steps to set up their own library. The builder is responsible for creating the actual post and structure of the library and will register it with an official charter to be assigned a company number.

Once the library has been set up and is fully operational, members of the community are free to visit and donate or swap out books to read. Any genre of book can be added to the library, and there is no sign-in system for people to borrow books.

“The Little Libraries gives people in the community the convenience of not going to a regular library,” said Elly Fisher, a member of the community who helped establish the little library location in Alabama Square downtown. “We have a lot of people in this area who come from different backgrounds, some of which may not have the resources to access books or the identification to get a library card. With this system, everyone has free access to [a] library.”

Fisher said she and her husband also donate books throughout the year to the Little Library location in Alabama Square to make sure it stays stocked.

The steps to begin your own little free library are fairly easy and outlined in detail on the main website of the company. Potential builders can also find tips, rules and recommendations for Little Free Library locations on the site.

“I started one at Warrington Middle School. It’s very successful and I love that several organizations will donate books as needed to replace ones that are damaged or not returned,” said Michelle Salzman, also a member of the community. “I love the little map (online) that shows how you are a part of something bigger than just your library. It’s a really incredible program.”

A map of all the local locations can also be found on the company site, along with links to directions and the exact street addresses. The company also has a Pinterest board, where you can see ideas for building a little library of your own.

Kugelman Honors Program hits a fundraising sweet spot

Amanda Gerow

Staff Writer

The UWF Kugelman Honors Program held its 2nd Annual Chocolate Tasting on Saturday in the University Commons Auditorium.

The Chocolate Talk consisted of short presentations about the history of chocolate, the manufacturing process, and the tasting and connoisseurship of chocolate.

“I’ve been doing this as a hobby for probably 15 years,” said Greg Tomso, chair of the Department of English and World Languages at UWF. “The Honors students approached me last year and said, ‘Hey, will you do a chocolate talk with us and will you do it as a fundraiser?’”

Tickets to the tasting were $15 per person or $25 per couple. Tickets were sold out by the night of the event with the expectation of 60 students and guests to attend.

The goal of the event was to raise money to send honors program students to the Southern Regional Honors Conference being held in Orlando this spring.

“This year is a very unique year for us at UWF because we are hosting this conference,” said Anthony Noll, Honors Council fundraising chair.

The conference will allow students the opportunity to learn what is happening in other programs as well as to see many presentations that will connect to the students’ specific majors. The conference also allows honors students at UWF to meet other honors students while expanding their network and presentation portfolio.

“It’s a very different feel from just attending a conference to actually hosting a conference,” Noll said. “The biggest thing for us is setting the bar for other colleges to see what we are capable of and what we are able to present to them.”

The chocolate was from almost all over the world. Cocoa beans used came from Madagascar, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. The manufacturers of the chocolate also hail from various parts of the globe: three French manufacturers, one Italian, one Belgian, and one American.

“We help people understand how chocolate is produced and teach some of the best ways to go about appreciating all of the chocolates that we have,” Tomso said. “We treat chocolate like a fine wine.”

Some UWF students outside of the honors program attended the event as well to enjoy the sweetness of the event.

“I’m just interested to see the different varieties of chocolate, because throughout my life I’ve really only been exposed to chocolate like Hershey’s,” said Melissa Coombs, sophomore pre-nursing student.

Others were more excited to test out the quality of their palate and see how much they really knew about the quality and taste of the chocolate offered.

“I’m a huge foodie, so I spend a lot of time at places like Whole Foods,” said Hannah Mizell, sophomore arts administration major.

The honors program has held two previous fundraisers this fall: a car wash and a Twister tournament. To learn more about the Kugelman Honors Program, visit their website or Facebook page. To contact Noll about honors program fundraisers, email him at atn6@students.uwf.edu.

UWF community garden grows food for thought and consumption


UWF community garden’s April harvest.
Photo courtesy of UWF community garden’s Facebook page.

Amanda Gerow

Staff Writer

The University of West Florida maintains a community garden that allows students, faculty, staff and the community to maintain the garden and learn about sustainable food systems.

The community garden was created in 2009 in order to cater to individuals who are interested in learning and teaching the proper ways to cultivate sustainable food systems. The garden also carries a partnership with Pensacola’s local food bank, Manna Food Pantries.

In order for the community garden to thrive, it depends mostly on donations and volunteers. It is located directly behind the UWF water tower adjacent to parking lot B. The garden is currently maintained by the Garden Club.

“SGA has provided funds to help support the garden, as well as the Honors College and many community members,” said Chasidy Hobbs, advising coordinator and instructor for the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

Anyone who is interested in getting involved with the community garden is welcome. All a person needs to do is express interest in joining the Garden Club. There are a handful of workdays throughout the semester, and anyone is free to attend any or all of them.

“We grow fruits, vegetables, herbs, and pollinator attracting plants,” Hobbs said. “Anyone who puts in time and effort to help grow the food gets to eat the food.”

Not only does the garden allow those who volunteer to eat the food, it also donates any leftover food to Manna Food Pantries, Loaves and Fishes and Ronald McDonald House. The community garden is planning to begin giving extra food to the Argo Pantry soon.

A compost collection was held on Oct. 30 to collect any uneaten fruits and vegetables from anyone willing to donate them. The participation in the compost collection is important for the garden so that the scraps can be used to grow more produce instead of going to waste in a landfill.

Anyone who is interested in finding out more about the community garden can check out the website or Facebook page, or email Chasidy Hobbs at chobbs@uwf.edu. If you are interested in growing food in one the beds, contact Gregory Tomso at gtomso@uwf.edu.

“Everyone is welcome, no experience necessary, only a willingness to get dirty and learn!” Hobbs said.


The mission of the UWF Community Garden:

  • To build community at UWF and in the surrounding region.
  • To promote food sustainability and security by creating an alternative to the industrial system of food production.
  • To teach UWF students, faculty, staff and other how to grow food locally and organically.
  • To encourage healthy eating by increasing access to fruits and vegetables.
  • To increase respect and concern for the natural world.
  • To help students develop leadership and community-building skills.