2023 Student Projects

The ‘Free Little Seed Library

In 2023, Andrew Daetz, a mechanical engineering senior at Tufts, worked with TPI to install a little seed library at 574 Boston Ave. Inspired by his love of plants and relying on his woodworking skills, he built a seed library capable of housing ~20 species of seeds and designed to survive all of Boston’s seasons. We were happy to wrap up 2023 with this library fully stocked with a diversity of seeds collected from our gardens! We are excited to offer this gardening resource to the wider Tufts community and are grateful to Andrew for his efforts. If you haven’t stopped by to drop off or pick up some seeds, consider doing so to prep for the 2024 season! Check out photos of the library below.

The Little Seed Library Comes to the Big (Little) Screen

Not only did 2023 bring the advent of The Little Seed Library to TPI, but we also partnered with Grace Dooner, a master’s student in the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts and a member of the Community Resilience Course. Grace captured the essence of the little seed library in this super fun and informative short film below. We are so impressed with the students who want to partner with us and grateful for their enthusiasm around community engagement and pollinator conservation! Check out more of Grace’s work at: https://www.gracedooner.com/

TPI “Zines”: From saving your seeds to learning to love insects

Beyond filmmaking and carpentry, we worked with students who had a great visual eye, including Dahlia Edwards. Dahlia is also a master’s student at Tufts University in the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning. Dahlia, like several other students who have partnered with us, was a student taking a course on Community Resilience taught by Dr. Kathryn Davies. We have been so grateful for the support from Dr. Davies over the years and awed by her students’ creativity and energy when thinking about how they can create more resilient communities! Dahlia used her creative skills to create Zines or, short informational pieces of work on content related to urban gardening, seed saving, as well as increasing awareness and comfort around insects. These zines are intended for a range of ages. ‘The Ick Factor’ is targeted towards children, while ‘Home Gardening’ and ‘You Have Seeds, Now What?’ are designed for slightly older audiences. Check out and download the Zines below. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

Pollinator Ambassadors

In 2023, we led our first Pollinator Ambassadors program, bringing TPI to undergraduates at Tufts. Two ambassadors, Eliot Swift and Liana Feller, created ‘Pollinator Bingo’ to provide visitors with a fun and immersive way to interact with our gardens. The best way to learn about pollinators is to spend a few minutes outdoors looking at flowering plants to see what you can find. This bingo functions as a guide for newer “explorers” to start their observational journey in pollinator gardens, as it gives suggestions on where to start looking. Printed versions of this beautiful activity can be found in the ‘Free Little Seed Library’ (located at 574 Boston Ave) for you to try out during the warmer months when our gardens are buzzing with life! Check out Eliot’s art on Instagram @eswift.arts

Learning through observing with ‘Pollinator Bingo