’burg and Beyond

In Lewisburg and far afield, Bucknell’s students and staff make a positive and palpable difference.
students working in the garden at Walnut Acres
Photo: Emily Paine
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At Walnut Acres, Place Studies Program interns, from left, Natalie Ring ’22, Anna Brown ’25 and Kaitlyn Segreti ’25, gather fall produce that is donated to the Union County community.
" "Penns Creek, Pa.
Long before pesticide-free food became a national trend, Paul and Betty Keene started one of America’s first organic farms in 1946. Walnut Acres Organic Farm quickly formed close ties with nearby Bucknell, from hosting international student dinners to providing an immersive setting for science courses. Now students are helping preserve the farm’s history through projects supported by Bucknell’s Center for Sustainability & the Environment.

What They’ve Done
Bucknell students have been creating an oral history of the farm, cataloging and digitizing artifacts, and applying for National Register of Historic Places recognition — in collaboration with the Keene family’s Walnut Acres Foundation.

This summer, Natalie Ring ’22 helped launch a digital museum — an interactive virtual timeline that contextualizes the farm’s role in the organic food movement. It is the first of several virtual exhibits that will correlate to a planned physical museum on site.

What They’ve Learned
Although the Walnut Acres brand was sold in 2000, the Keenes’ legacy as organic- farming pioneers is a significant piece of local history, according to Ring.
“To find out this historic farming site is located right in central Pennsylvania was fascinating,” says Ring, a studio art and markets, innovation & design double major. “It’s been amazing to be a part of helping the farm gain recognition and preserving the Keenes’ family history.”
— Brooke Thames