Loyola University Chicago

School of Environmental Sustainability

Education and Outreach

Educating the Loyola community and the surrounding neighborhoods about sustainable agriculture is one of our main goals. This program exists to teach people about sustainable food production and overcoming the challenges of growing food in an urban environment (available space, pollution, soil contamination, etc.).

Volunteer Days

Every week, we engage about 30 volunteers in the Urban Agriculture program. We host weekend volunteer days most Saturdays from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. during the spring and fall semesters. There are also opportunities for volunteering or working on a specific project on an individual basis. Possible tasks for volunteers include irrigation, harvesting, feeding fish, data collection, and general maintenance of the gardens or greenhouse. If you are interested in joining the volunteer days or want to inquire about volunteering during the week, please RSVP 48 hours in advance to loyolaurbanag@gmail.com.

* All Saturday volunteers must sign-up 48 hours in advance by emailing loyolaurbanag@gmail.com.

Urban Agriculture Internship

The urban agriculture team consists mainly of student Interns. Paid student Internships are offered for the spring, summer, and fall periods and include semester-long opportunities as well as long-term positions. Duties include general maintenance such as feeding fish, data collection, irrigation, harvesting, seeding, transplanting, weeding, harvesting, crop planning, and working the farmers’ market. Student Interns meet with the Urban Agriculture Coordinator weekly to review projects and organize scheduling. If you are interested in an internship, applications are available each semester, including the summer period. Applications will be posted on SES’s page during the following times: spring positions are posted in Dec./Jan.; summer positions are posted in April/May; fall positions are posted in July/August.


Students in the Solutions to Environmental Problems (STEP): Food Systems course have participated in campus urban agriculture projects including:

  • Quinlan Rooftop Garden (2009)
  • Winthrop Shade Garden project (2013)
  • Campus Beekeeping project (2013)
  • Mushroom production project (2013)
  • Tilapia breeding project (2014)
  • Native/Pollinator plant project (2014)
  • Microgreens production project (2014)

Other projects around campus

  • Prairie project: Dr. Bala Chaudhary’s Soil Science class is simulating a prairie in the Ecodome to investigate long-term effects on soil health. (2013–2014)
  • Ozone Project: Dr. Ping Jing is measuring the impacts of ozone gases on plant growth and comparing results from areas at the Quinlan Rooftop Garden and Winthrop Garden. (2014)
  • The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF): Mushroom Awareness and Production project (2014)

Student Club Affiliations

We are happy to partner with student organizations including:

  • Growers’ Guild: promotes sustainability initiatives on campus by introducing the community to urban agriculture, permaculture, and general food and flower innovation. Growers Guild offers organized workdays to help maintain Mertz garden and harvest flowers for the Loyola Farmers market.
  • Student Environmental Alliance (SEA): promotes environmental awareness, protection, and sustainable lifestyles.


Urban Ag Volunteer Days: We host volunteer days on most Saturdays from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. Spring semester volunteer dates will be posted soon. Contact loyolaurbanag@gmail.com to inquire about volunteering.


  • AUA Chicago: Resources, Jobs, Garden Map, Farmers Markets in Chicago
  • attra.org: Sustainable agriculture & leadership Opportunities