TAMPA, Fla. — On the Ybor City campus of Hillsborough Community College, there is a public art space unlike any other.
In this delightful urban Eden, students can now rest, meditate and study — plus, eat fresh mangoes and basil and passion fruit.
Opened this week, the lovely "Food Forest" is part of an innovative HCC initiative called NEST: Nourishment, Education and Social Terraces.
The creative greenspace was imagined by renowned landscape artist Tory Tepp.
It both educates students, staff and campus neighbors about food insecurity and feeds them.
"It's just good for the soul," says Amanda Poss, HCC's gallery director.
The "Food Forest" is also a beautiful extension of HCC's ongoing partnership with Feeding Tampa Bay, which is helping the school fight food insecurity on campus with food pantries and more.
Right now the "Food Forest" isn't producing enough to nourish everyone, so Feeding Tampa Bay helped celebrate the "Food Forest" opening with both a mobile food pantry and the "Nutrition Kitchen," a delicious cooking tutorial featuring recipes using ingredients from pantries and the NEST project.
HCC is also launching the "Fledgling" project, which will help extend the NEST initiative out into the public with a rolling sculpture that will educate and entertain.