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About Us


The UCM Campus Garden (also known as the Bobcat Garden) was formed by master gardener De Ette Silbaugh. The original garden idea dates back to 2010 when a group of students and members of the Sustainable Engineers decided the campus needed a garden to support UC Merced’s ‘green sustainable image’.

Since then the garden has gone through many location changes but is now at peace located right on Rancher's Road. The garden is totally student-supported and maintained. Our current mission is to provide harvests to the campus food bank and to educate students on gardening in hopes they apply it to their home lives.

In 2021, we were privileged to open our campus fruit orchard, increasing our ability to provide much more variety and quantity of fresh produce for the entire campus as it grows.


By 2020, UC Merced has pledged to consume zero net energy, and produce zero waste and zero net greenhouse gas emissions. The UCM campus garden helps the campus reach that goal by providing a sustainable food source to students. Produce from the garden requires no transportation, harmful pesticides, or extra packaging, which ultimately leads to a smaller carbon footprint. The Bobcat Garden is affiliated with, and supported by, the office of Sustainability on campus.


Food Security on Campus

In 2015, 42% of UC students reported having experienced a reduced quality of diet or reduced food intake in the past 12 months. UC Merced is located in a food desert, where this problem is worse. However, the campus garden helps relieve this issue by providing free, fresh produce to students that allows them to prepare healthy meals for themselves.                                                             

Our Team

Master Gardener

De Ette Silbaugh is the faculty adviser for the UC Merced Campus Garden. She has been teaching in the Merritt Writing Program since Fall 2008 and in 2014, she completed her Master Gardener Training. She is passionate about the UCM garden and hopes to expand it for future students, as well as bring fruit tree orchards to campus so students have more accessible foods. 

Student Garden Coordinator

Lily Lindros is a third-year Anthropology major at UC Merced. In 2022, she completed the training to be a Merced Master Gardener to better support the garden. Her passion lies in connecting people and places and developing the garden to be an accessible, friendly, and productive place for the student body. One of her goals is to integrate native plants into the garden to better serve the native fauna in the Merced landscape.


Frequently Asked Questions


What do you grow at the campus garden?

Our main goal at the campus garden is to grow seasonal veggies, but we also grow anything from berries to tea leaves to herbs. Our choice in plants is dependent on donations and suggestions from the student body.
We also have an orchard located near the North Bowl Parking Lot that will eventually produce many different kinds of stone fruits as well as apples.

Where can I get the produce that you grow?

We harvest intermittently during volunteer days, but the bulk of our produce goes to the Bobcat Pantry. You can find out more about the Bobcat Pantry here.

How can I start volunteering?

We have open volunteer days on Friday mornings! Just show up at 9:00am at our Ranchers Road location and let someone know you’re new. 
If you are a large group looking to partner with us, please contact us directly! We would love to set up something with you.

Can I donate seeds/plants/equipment?

We accept donations gratefully and on a case-by-case basis. For more information, please contact De Ette Silbaugh at