New Garden Fuels Pitt’s Nutrition Program

By: Courtney Caprara

The fourth-floor atrium of Forbes Tower will be more colorful this summer thanks to a garden planted by students and faculty from Pitt’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (SHRS). The sports medicine and nutrition department started the garden as part of Pitt’s campus-wide Year of Healthy U wellness initiative, and the food grown will be used in the department’s classes and community-focused healthy eating demonstrations.

Last week, nutrition students and faculty catered the School’s end of term gathering with locally sourced ingredients, some of which were freshly picked from the garden’s first harvest. Phipp’s Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, a frequent community outreach collaborator with Pitt’s nutrition programs, generously donated some of the plants growing in the garden.

“As a department, our goal is to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and their communities by guiding them to positive dietary choices,” said Deb Hutcheson, D.C.N., director of Pitt’s coordinated program in nutrition and dietetics. “Starting at last week’s celebration with our own colleagues and peers, our garden will allow us to expand upon that mission on campus and beyond.”

The year-end celebration also included interactive presentations and demonstrations from all departments that participated in the Year of Healthy U, and organizers worked to ensure that the gathering generated no landfill waste. The School partnered with the Pennsylvania Resource Council and Pitt’s Office of Sustainability to compost all waste at a compost station, including all paper products and utensils.

For additional information about the sports medicine and nutrition department, visit the SHRS website, and go to the Pitt website for more about the Year of Healthy U initiative.