Get a site

Living Learning Lab

What is a Living Learning Lab?

A Living Learning Lab is a space on campus designated as a testing ground for innovation, behavioral entrepreneurship, and interactive place-based learning. It’s a place where students, faculty, staff, and community members engage in problem-solving to explore some of the most pressing ecological, environmental, and social issues of our times in a small-scale, participatory setting. Living learning lab projects foster sustainable food citizenship by offering hands-on, experiential learning opportunities to grow not only food, but leadership, conversations, and collaboration. The UMSFP living learning lab uses dynamic, hands-on learning projects related to food to bridge traditional academic disciplines and cultivate systems thinking.


What kind of activities fall under the living learning lab program scope?

  • Course collaborations (ex. presentations, tours, project collaboration)

  • Academic research

  • Individual or group projects

  • Farm and garden tours

  • Group volunteering events

  • Student organization events or projects

  • Art, engineering, or architectural installations

  • Community events

Not sure if your activity is a good fit? Contact us at umsfp[dot]core[at]!


How to Get Involved

The UM Campus Farm and Cultivating Community are now accepting proposals to engage with their space for educational and community-building purposes.


Eligible Spaces (please see here for a map of gardens on campus)

UM Campus Farm (

  • A one acre space located at Matthaei Botanical Botanical Gardens, featuring annual and perennial vegetables and fruit, a giant herb spiral, raised beds, demonstration plots, and an apiary and honeybee sanctuary garden. This site now also includes the neighboring Food Forest.


Cultivating Community (

  • Located at the Ginsberg Center featuring small-scale, urban garden techniques such as vertical planting, crop rotation, composting, seed saving, an herb spiral and a hoop house for season extension.


Application Process


Applications are available below will be accepted on a rolling basis. Please read through the evaluation criteria and selection process prior to completing an application.


Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  with questions, comments, ideas, newsletter items, and suggestions!

Join the Conversation

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to hear about special events, food news, job and volunteer opportunities and keep current on what is happening in our community.

Follow UMSFP on Facebook and our Member Groups will keep you informed about what's happening on campus and share pictures of what they're working on.

Follow the Campus Farm on Facebook or Instagram to see what's happening in photographs.


Volunteers are the backbone of the UM Sustainable Food Program. The work goes beyond cultivating veggies at the Campus Farm. Working with member groups, volunteers have also hosted potlucks, discussions, festivals, symposia, fundraisers, and produce stands. They help maintain the Cultivating Community Garden and the garden at the School of Public Health. Volunteering is a great way to meet new friends and support sustainable food.

Check out what the member groups are working on!


Internships are a great way to learn and gain experience. Through internships we hope to develop graduates who will carry leadership skills into their future professions while providing significant opportunities for volunteer support.

Read more about internships

Classes and Independent Study

Creating a sustainable food system takes energy and creativity, and the first step is to think about the problems we face and our options in confronting them. In your classes you can square off with food system problems and begin coming up with solutions. Enroll in classes studying food and share what you learn.

Read more about classes and independent study

Sustainable Food Program | University of Michigan
Email us at
Visit us at
Design and content © 2012 UMSFP and Matouka Consulting