Posted May 22, 2024

Temple senior creates fertile ground for career as community garden manager

Environmental engineering major Jag Gummadi devoted his time to maintaining the Temple Community Garden and will go on to a job at the Philadelphia Water Department after graduation.

Image of Jag Gummadi.
Photography By: 
Jag Gummadi
Jag Gummadi has always loved gardening. At Temple, he found a community of peers who shared his passion.

Name: Jag Gummadi
Degree: BS, environmental engineering
College: College of Engineering
Hometown: Upper St. Clair, PA

As the president of the Temple Community Garden, Jag Gummadi got the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of his labor while studying at Temple. The environmental engineering major took pride in tending carefully to plum and peach trees, sharing its yields with other students and the surrounding community.

“The most rewarding part for me has been seeing the fruit trees develop—mulching them, keeping them weeded, pruning them—and they’ve been really giving us a ton of fruit,” said Gummadi. “They could keep producing fruit for decades and decades and decades, which is really cool to see and be a part of.” 

Gummadi became involved with the community garden after a roommate started participating. He began helping with the e-board, then became treasurer, and was hired by Temple’s Office of Sustainability to be a garden manager for a summer. He was appointed garden president during his senior year. “I just have always loved gardening. As soon as I found that there was a gardening community here I kind of became a part of it,” Gummadi says.

Gummadi’s interest in gardening stems from his dream of being a farmer. “Eventually I’d like to have my own land and grow vegetables and sell them in a farmer’s market. But for now, I’m planning on being an engineer and saving up for that dream,” he said.

Until he can make this farming dreams a reality, Gummadi will serve as a graduate civil engineer for the Philadelphia Water Department. As part of the Green Stormwater and Stream Design Unit, he’ll manage stormwater projects around the city. After being employed as an intern, he applied for the position and was hired. He will begin the position after graduation.

Gummadi describes his #TempleMade moment as when he realized during his internship that the Philadelphia Water Department is full of Owls, and that working there would be another community, similar to that of the community garden. “It was really cool meeting a lot of other Temple alumni who work in my same unit at the Philadelphia Water Department, a whole cohort of us who all had the same professors at Temple,” he said.

Looking back on his time at Temple, Gummadi recognizes that his education went beyond the coursework: He learned how to trust his instincts. “When I first started out at Temple, I tried to do what was right based on what other people do or say and that’s exhausting. I make decisions with my gut now, and sometimes they’re great decisions. Sometimes they’re just okay. Sometimes they’re bad. But you can always sort through it,” he said.