All team members of Associated Students Department of Public Worms are UCSB students.
Worm wranglers do the hardest work at DPW. They manage our aerobic compost systems, vermicompost systems, tend to Family Student Housing compost program, and are the worker bees for the Edible Campus Project.
Recycling and Compost Program Coordinator
Dept. of Public Worms is a student run, student funded AS organization. Our group was originally established as part of A.S. Recycling in 2004 in efforts to incorporate composting into UCSB’s waste management. Our first services focused on servicing businesses in Isla
Vista in collaboration with IV Parks & Recreation. Worm bins were built in People’s Park and Estero Park for students to compost the food collections. A.S. Recycling Route Riders picked up the food waste with our recumbent trailer bikes, and eventually Dept. of Public Worms began collecting food waste from several dining commons. We also began distributing Worm Tea.
We relocated our operations from Isla Vista to the Eucalyptus Grove on campus behind the Recreation Center Tennis Courts. This is where all our vermicomposting takes place! We also share the Grove with A.S. Recycling!
Five more Tango Mandarin trees were added to the Urban Orchard in August 2016. This year, we set up 2 hydroponic towers next to the grove which grow all kinds of awesome veggies including green onions, tomatoes, and peppers. We also began designing plans for an Edible Campus Student Farm!
Our first major farm event was a groundbreaking in Fall 2018. It was followed by a big volunteer day in Spring 2019, and then our grand
opening on October 8, 2019. With the help of amazing community volunteers, we were able to build our beautiful farm and begin donating large amounts of produce by early 2020. In 2020, our farm also welcomed 3 new hydroponic towers
We continue to care for our worms and service family housing composting. Our Edible Campus Program projects are thriving. Our farm houses over 20 fully functional beds, a greenhouse, and the beginnings of a permaculture food forest. We tend to our Urban Orchard and its 7 citrus trees as well as our 5 hydroponic towers. The Department of Public Worms hopes to re-open our garden to community volunteers soon!
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Phone: (805) 893-7765
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In the Press
Check out these articles that feature DPW:
Volunteering and the work being done at the ECP Student Farm
A short article about Dept. of Public Worm’s involvement in the Edible Campus Project to fight food insecurity on our campus!
An account of the Student Farm Groundbreaking, featuring testimonials from Jack and Kim Johnson!
Unique collaboration of UCSB’s Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, Edible Campus Project and Orfalea Family Children’s Center seeds sustainability in preschoolers.
UCSB research professor David Cleveland and his students model the effect of household gardens on greenhouse gas emissions.
With an array of outreach efforts and unique initiatives, UC Santa Barbara leads the way to improve food security for students.
KCLU-NPR for the California Coast
A glimpse into the field trips our Worm Wranglers led for the young students at the Orfalea Children’s Center.
KCBX-Central Coast Radio
The beginnings of the ECP Student Farm
The Daily Nexus
DPW composting and our involvement with the Urban Orchard project
ECP Student Farm Groundbreaking!
The ECP Student Farm Grand Opening
The Bottom Line
Another glimpse at our involvement with ECP projects
A radio show that we were involved in! Jump to 24:25 to hear us talk about ECP.