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Fortino Morales III, UC Riverside Community Garden Coordinator

fortino-bio-grow-riverside 150Fortino Morales III is the R’Garden (Community Garden) Coordinator at the University of California, Riverside working jointly under Agricultural Operations and the Office of Sustainability. He received his B.S. in Environmental Sciences from UC Riverside in 2011. During his time as a student he was involved in campus sustainability efforts and now serves as a staff advisor for many of them. He was a co-author of a student referendum called the Green Campus Action Plan (GCAP) that created a green fund to support sustainability internships, grants, and solar projects on campus. He was president of Sustainable UCR, a campus organization that works to make the campus more sustainable in its operations, programming, and overall environment. During his time as president they were able to break ground on a campus garden in 2009 in partnership with the campus and the Salvation Army. As part of Cultivate R’Space, another campus organization, he helped initiate and facilitate a student created class called the Urban Garden Seminar. The seminar explores community food systems issues as well as hands on gardening techniques. He was a Sustainable Agri-food Systems Fellow & Intern for two years, based out of the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) at UC Santa Cruz.  He has also helped organize trainings and convergences for the West Coast region of the Real Food Challenge, which leverages the power of youth and universities to create a healthy, fair and green food system. He received his Permaculture Design Certificate from Quail Springs in 2012. Fortino realizes that literally none of this would have been possible without family, friends and a whole community of support (thank you!)