Pete’s Giving Garden


During the fall of 2018, the Director of the Office of Engagement Programs, Syeisha Byrd, had dreamed of opening a vegetable garden on Syracuse University’s campus with the goal of offering fresh vegetables to our students. Byrd also runs the Hendricks Chapel Food Pantry and sees on a daily basis the need for fresh produce within the pantry. Byrd approached Pete Sala, the Chief Facilities Officer, and he loved the idea, and knew of the perfect spot for a garden. Sala introduced Byrd to Melissa Cadwell and Meg Lowe of Sustainability Management and Pat Carroll, the University's Grounds manager. With these connections the three departments were able to work together to plan and install the first vegetable garden.

Carroll and his team were instrumental in building the garden beds, providing the first plants, and even securing donations of two apple trees for the garden. Cadwell and Lowe offered help in planning and maintaining the garden over the summer, while hosting student interns from the Falk College Food Studies Program. From this last collaboration, Food Studies Internship Coordinator, Elissa Johnson, lent her wealth of garden expertise to the project. Johnson coordinated and led workshops, organized student, faculty and staff volunteers throughout the spring, summer and fall of 2019.  The workshops ensure proper gardening techniques are being used by all involved in the garden. Additionally, Johnson reached out to Brady Farms who donated plants to the garden as well.

The garden also highlighted the need for a food pantry on South Campus. During the fall of 2019, Sustainability Management opened the second locatioi at 161 Farm Acre Road, on South Campus opened their first food pantry. The students who have used the pantry were excited about the fresh vegetable as they were able to incorporate them into their daily diets.


Get Involved


Volunteering is open to all students, faculty, and staff across the University Campus.

If you would like to volunteer at the Garden, please reach out to Elissa Johnson at

Food Pantry

If you'd like to volunteer at the Food Pantry on Main Campus, please reach out to Syeisha Byrd at .

If you'd like to volunteer at the Food Pantry on South Campus, please reach out to Sustainability Management at .


College, departments, and/or student groups across campus can Adopt-A-Month to support donations to the food pantries. Please contact Syeisha Byrd at

Visit the Garden and Food Pantries!

Main Campus-Hendricks Chapel

Due to concerns surrounding COVID-19, The Hendricks Chapel Food Pantry is open by appointment only at this time.

Learn more about the pantry here.

Pete's Giving Garden

The garden is located on South Campus, behind the Inn Complete. Follow Skytop Rd to the top of the hill, where the big red barn (the Inn Complete) is located. Parking available at the Inn Complete.

South Campus-Sustainability Management

Due to concerns surrounding COVID-19, The South Campus Food Pantry is closed at this time.

The South Campus Food Pantry is located at 161 Farm Acre Rd.