The Cultural Center at the University of Louisville has literally embarked on a ground-breaking initiative to proactively “go green.” In partnership with Akzo Nobel corporation, Louisville Grows, a non-profit working to ensure our city’s sustainable future through education, leadership, and the coordination of resources, and other campus partners the Cultural Center has developed a community garden on campus.
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Why is this a good thing?
The University of Louisville is an exceptional fit for a campus garden for a number of reasons:
A great number of students are interested and involved in environmental issues who can provide the leadership essential to the success of such an endeavor;
The garden would support the mission of the University of Louisville to become a premier metropolitan university by providing experience in team and project coordination, inner-locked with the city’s interests in food security and public health;
It would increase the value of campus life; and
The garden would be a positive tool to educate students who will in turn educate the community of importance of local foods and sustainable livelihoods.
What's the point?
Small changes can make a big difference in our world. This garden will provide a common ground for students to interact with each other and the land in a way that is beneficial to their mental and physical well being. Simultaneously, this garden will create a medium for the university to bridge the gap between theory and the real world while giving students a sense of ownership for their campus —thus, blooming gathered respect for other students, faculty, and facilities. For a young generation of students, knowledge of how to grow their own food, food policy issues, and the benefits of sustainable growing practices are of upmost importance to the outlook of our planet. For the community at large, we foresee this project to be a model for other community gardens through advocacy, education and outreach by UofL students.
A comprehensive energy assessment of the Cultural Center’s “carbon footprint” will begin with the collection of data and subsequent analysis. Throughout the process, behaviors and attitudes will be molded to help save energy and avoid wasteful consumption. For carbon which cannot be sequestered through behavioral change, carbon offsetting events such as a “Tree Planting Festival” (trees absorb carbon in the atmosphere) will be held by the Cultural Center and sponsored by RSOs and campus constituents. As for the garden: beyond soil testing, planting, the incorporation of public art, and eventual cooking classes, Louisville Grows is prepared to offer a series of workshops which will synergistically host experts from the community to offer UofL students the expertise to make this garden a success. The Cultural Center partnered with Louisville Grows will provide the support for UofL students to explore their role in the leadership of a healthier Louisville and a more resilient Earth.