Discover Your Island

Aislynn Campbell

Outstanding Islanders

Photo of Aislynn Campbell

Growing a Healthy Community

Islander alumna Aislynn Campbell, the Founder and Executive Director of GROW Local South Texas – a nonprofit committed to cultivating a healthy community by improving access to nutritious, affordable and local foods – has been passionate about natural, locally grown food since becoming a mother 16 years ago.

“In the pursuit of healthy food with a need for convenience and affordability, I learned there was very little access to local, organic options,” said Campbell. “It was then that I began growing, processing and preparing my own food.”

Campbell’s personal mission soon became a public mission, and she went to work boosting the area’s local food system infrastructure. In March 2012, Campbell created the Corpus Christi Downtown Farmers’ Market to offer people an access point to locally grown food.

“The Market quickly became a community gathering space for young, healthy and creative professionals,” said Campbell. “The ripple of energy behind the project created a tidal wave of people who joined the cause.”

In March 2013, the City of Corpus Christi allowed Campbell and her crew to adopt Tom Graham Park and turn it into a teaching community garden. That same month, Campbell created the non-profit GROW Local South Texas.
“Our community’s health dictates that GROW Local’s missions is one of the most important pursuits in South Texas,” said Campbell. “High rates of obesity and diabetes combined with a low median income dictates that being able to produce healthy, affordable food for our community is a matter of survival.”

Campbell received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies-Public Relations from the Island University in 2003. She has fond memories of her times on campus, and feels especially indebted to now Provost Dr. Kelly Quintanilla.

“Dr. Quintanilla was the department head and public relations internship professor when I was a student, and I often got to sit across the desk from her and talk about my ideas for PR in Corpus Christi,” said Campbell. “I loved college and I was always communicating with and working on independent projects with professors.”

Now, three years after the Downtown Farmers’ Market began, it has moved to a larger space at the Art Center of Corpus Christi. Additionally, the Learning Garden has grown to include a barn, a greenhouse, dozens of volunteers and a multitude of educational initiatives.

“Personally, I have reached one of my top career goals. I have my dream job,” said Campbell. “And as a group, while we have already accomplished so much, we are only getting started.”