Gardening and Giving Back

Pacific Robb Garden

Take a stroll across the University of Pacific’s breathtaking Stockton campus and you just might spot the enchanting Ted & Chris Robb Garden. Step inside the beckoning gates to this picturesque oasis where visitors come for inspiration, education, and retreat for students, faculty, and members of the community alike.

Although an undeniably beautiful space to walk around on campus, its roots and purpose run deeper. “The garden was started with sustainability in mind,” says Jessica Bilecki, supervisor of the garden and director of sustainability at UOP. “It’s a space where students and members of the community can learn firsthand about the connection between how our food is grown and the impact it makes on our bodies and the planet.”

Created to be an experiential demonstration of how food is grown organically and sustainably, former regent Walter Robb made it possible for select garden interns to study GROW BIOINTENSIVE ® techniques at Ecology Action in Willits. These principles are part of the campus garden.

Pamela Eibeck, President of the University, says it best: “Our gardens bring together students, faculty, staff and the community. Their vitality reflects the extraordinary passion of our volunteers and donors and the strength of Pacific’s commitment to educating our students and the community about sustainability.”

Maintaining healthy soil and keeping the space free of synthetic fertilizers, and pesticides are vital aspects of the garden’s educational process. When it comes to tending the garden, good old fashion bug squishing is the method of choice. Biodegradable soaps, brightly colored Marigolds, and reflective objects are a few of the many other creative pests deterring methods taught in the garden.

Workshops focusing on the basics of sustainable gardening, such as how to start seeds, transplant, prune, and more, are offered periodically in the garden and open to anyone that wants to learn.

The garden is also the perfect spot to sit and delight the senses with the surrounding beauty of colorful plants and flowers, the calming sounds of chirping birds and buzzing bees, and the succulent fragrance that can only be found in a summer vegetable garden.

Benches designed by University art students and made from fallen campus redwoods sit in the heart of the garden to offer the perfect lookout spot. You may even be greeted by a couple of entertaining ducks that occasionally enjoy stopping by for an afternoon waddle across the garden.

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