Community Engagement

UofL students, faculty, and staff engage the broader community in a full spectrum of sustainability initiatives.

UofL students, faculty, and staff regularly engage the broader community in efforts to promote sustainable environmental, social and economic stewardship beyond the borders of campus. The public is actively invited to participate in our many and varied Sustainability Events, but we also participate with the public in a wide variety of community-wide efforts to enhance sustainability. These efforts may take the form of individual service projects, internships, on-going collaborative work, research projects that benefit the community, or partnerships the university establishes with various entities. UofL's Office of Community Engagement tracks these efforts and documents our partnerships here.

The University of Louisville is proud to be an Anchor Institution supporting the kind of local economic and community vibrancy that is central to sustainability in the greater Louisville Metro region. In the spring of 2018, UofL became one of 31 colleges and universities in the U.S. to join as an inaugural member of the Higher Education Anchor Mission Initiative. That pilot program launched the Anchor Learning Network, comprising 35 schools in North America including UofL.

The Anchor Learning Network (ALN) is a learning community for members of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) that was created and is managed in partnership with The Democracy Collaborative (TDC) and with support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The  Network is designed to facilitate a more rapid and effective advancement of the anchor mission within member institutions, in home communities, and across the higher education sector. By leveraging a peer learning framework, ALN members systematically transform higher education to fully serve its public mission and advance the long-term social, economic, and physical health of our campuses and communities.

CUMU member institutions committed to an anchor mission intentionally apply their economic power and human capital in a long-term partnership with their local communities, to improve mutual well-being. With public trust and funding for higher education declining, imagine the potential impact if hiring, purchasing and investing power was better aligned with academic research to equitably benefit the local economies our universities call home. It is in the interests of higher education institutions and the public for us to align our economic assets as well as our educational mission behind community improvement.

Understanding that all communities have different contexts and histories, ALN participants explore opportunities for advancing anchor mission strategies in multiple areas—hiring, workforce development, small business and innovation centers, purchasing, supplier diversity, affordable housing, and community investing—while gaining an understanding of how to advance racial equity through anchor work.

Sustainability Outreach

In 2013-2014 alone, UofL recorded more than 16,000 student, 1,500 staff and 1,700 faculty instances of community engagement in teaching, research and service projects.

A Sample of UofL Community Engagement Partnerships
Sustainability-Related Projects (self-reported)


Project Name

UofL Contact

Project Description

College of Arts and Sciences

Park Hill Industrial Corridor

Peter B. Meyer

pbmeyer (at)

Project seeks to combine business, government and private sector interests in developing and implementing a strategy for Brownfields/Smart Growth conversion and investment. The Park Hill Industrial Corridor is identified as a demonstration center for "green" practices, near and long-term aesthetic improvements, transportation changes, land-use enhancements and for programs and policies needed to make it a magnet for businesses and new jobs.

College of Arts and Sciences

Sustainable City Series

Patrick Piuma

patrick.piuma (at)

Partnerships with various organizations provide the opportunity for education, raised awareness and varying practices relating to sustainable living and modeling for that behavioral activity. Taken as a whole, the series provides an illumination of what is possible in our local community and in our nation if we make these aspects of life a priority in our lives.

College of Arts and Sciences

Urban Forest Data Collection Project

Dr. Margaret Carreiro

margaret.carreiro (at)

Project collects data and information on the urban forest; including the size of trees, information on their condition and the identity and variety of trees in the urban area. This data aids in urban planning and in areas related to ecological planning.

College of Education and Human Development

Environmental Education Committee of the Partnership for a Green City

Ingrid Weiland

isweil01 (at)

The Environmental Education Committee falls under the larger umbrella of the Partnership for a Green City and serves as a unique central component of the organization. The purpose of the EEC is to increase environmental literacy through a strengthened collaboration of JCPS/UofL/and Metro Government. A position was created in the College of Education and Human Development in 2006 to provide leadership for both the EEC and the Center for Environmental Education.

College of Education and Human Development

Meade Activity Center (MAC) Project

Dr. Kristi King

kristi.king (at)

Sedentary lifestyles are the norm for Kentuckians with over 30% participating in no physical activity at all with over two-thirds of Kentuckians classified as overweight or obese. Rural areas, like Meade County, are especially susceptible to poor health outcomes due to the lack of physical activity opportunities and places, sidewalks, limited access to walkable play spaces and inability to actively commute (bicycle or walk) thus fostering a sedentary lifestyle.6-9 The Meade Activity Center (MAC) Projects vision is to create physical activity opportunities and places that will address the gaps in availability of services due to income disparity at the individual and county levels. The primary goal is to offer a variety of quality physical activity programs to Meade County residents who have not had access to programs previously.

School of Public Health and Information Sciences

Gray Street Farmers Market

Melissa Schreck

melissa.schreck (at)

As part of its outreach program, the School of Public Health and Information Sciences (SPHIS) worked with community partners to launch the Gray Street Farmers’ Market. The goal of the market is to increase access to fresh, locally grown food in the downtown area. The Gray Street Farmers' Market will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Thursday from mid-May through the end of October. The market is located on the 400 block of E. Gray Street, between S. Preston and S. Jackson streets.

School of Public Health and Information Sciences

Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness

Muriel Harris

mjharr08 (at)

Collaborative activities with LMPHW span a wide spectrum including training, education, public events, research, student activities and staff support. Regular interactions among SPHIS personnel and LMPHW continue to yield innovative approaches to public health and garners local and national attention.

School of Public Health and Information Sciences

Louisville Putting Prevention to Work

Dr. Muriel Harris

mjharr08 (at)

SPHIS provides evaluation services to the Louisville Putting Prevention to Work federally funded grant to change environmental and systems factors and implement policies to address the high rates of obesity in the Louisville Metro area.

School of Public Health and Information Sciences

Partnership for a Green City - Environmental Health Committee

Brent Fryrear, Director / EOHS: Robert Jacobs, PhD

robert.jacobs (at)

The Partnership for a Green City consists of the University of Louisville, Louisville Metro Government, Jefferson County Public Schools. Committee members from UofL include the KY Institute Environment & Sustainable Development (KIESD), School of Public Health and Information Sciences (SPHIS), Center for Environmental Education/College of Ed & Human Development, Geography/Geosciences Dept., Pediatrics/UCHS, School of Medicine (SOM), School of Nursing (SON). Other committee members include representatives from JCPS; Louisville Metro Department of Public Health & Wellness, Passport; KY Lung Assoc.; Kosair Children’s Hospital-Child Advocate/Ed. Dept; Air Pollution Control District. Dr. Robert Jacobs is the SPHIS Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences representative on the Climate Change Committee. Following are the committee’s goals.
1. Collaborate on respiratory diseases (i.e., asthma or COPD) to enhance adaptive strategies to intervene and reduce the impact of air pollution on respiratory issues.
2. Collaborate on preparedness planning for disease outbreak and heat stress.
3. Create adaptive strategies that ensure persons at risk are identified and that effective intervention programs are available to populations vulnerable to poor air quality.
4. Support the distribution, training and use of AEDs across the Partnership organizations.

School of Public Health and Information Sciences

Project Waterway Now (WIN)

David Tollerud, MD, MPH

david.tollerud (at)

To address the challenges of improving our water quality, MSD embarked on a comprehensive sewer improvement program that will eliminate major sources of water pollution throughout Louisville Metro. The new initiative is called “Project WIN” (Waterway Improvements Now). Planned upgrades under Project WIN will allow MSD to comply with Clean Water Act regulations.
Project WIN will address problems with combined and sanitary sewer overflows. During rain storms, the sewers become overloaded with rainwater and discharge the combined water and sewage into local streams and the Ohio River. MSD has committed to take necessary measures to control sewer overflows under a federal Consent Decree with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the Kentucky Division of Water (DOW).


Bike Louisville

Justin Mog

jmmog001 (at)

The Sustainability Council is partnering with Metro government's Bike Louisville program and the non-profit Bicycling for Louisville to promote increased use of the bicycle for transportation to campus and around town through bicycle safety & confidence classes, printing and distribution of the new city bike map, and Bike to Work Month (May) events and competition.


Garden Commons

Tierney Bates

cultural (at)

The Cultural Center at the University of Louisville is literally embarking on a ground-breaking initiative to proactively “go green.” In partnership with Louisville Grows, a non-profit working to ensure our city’s sustainable future through education, leadership, and the coordination of resources, the Cultural Center will be supporting student leaders to develop a community garden on campus. This garden will be a physical addition to the Center’s evolving energy-conscious policies and actions.

College of Arts and Sciences

Floyd's Fork Environmental Clean Up Project

(former) Dr. Tommy Parker

The project along Floyd's Fork is seen as a significant community development for Jefferson and surrounding counties. Dr. Parker's efforts in this partnership served to empower project supporters, and the community generally, as to the ecological benefits of the Floyd's Fork project.

Vice President of Athletics

EDGE Outreach

Ken Lolla

ken.lolla (at)

Purpose is to serve other through the mission of EDGE Outreach. The players and staff were trained to install and use water purification systems. The program and it's members raised funds to pay for a trip to Brazil to install the water purification systems and train the locals on how to use them.

Vice President Business Affairs

Memorandum of Agreement for Transit Services

Doreen Wood

doreen.wood (at)

Provide transit services to the University of Louisville community for a specific campus route and to provide members of the University community fare-free service all TARC routes.

Vice President Community Engagement; College of Arts and Sciences; Kent School of Social Work

The California Collaborative

Dr. Ralph Fitzpatrick

r0fitz01 (at)

To implement a neighborhood management system inspired by the NeighborWorks America model for neighborhood revitalization.

Vice President Information Technology

UK/UL IT Collaboration

Dr. Priscilla Hancock

Priscilla.hancock (at)

Partner in areas of disaster recovery, sustainability, and other areas that may result in cost savings and or knowledge sharing.

Vice President Student Affairs

Food Literacy Project Oxmoor Farm: Bonner Leader site

Kim Johnson Shaver

kkjohn01 (at)

The Food Literacy Project provides farm-based experiential education and entrepreneurial youth development programs that bring the Field-to-Fork experience to life for local youth.

Vice President Student Affairs

MLK Jr. Day of Service

Pam Nessle Curtis

pncurt01 (at)

During the holiday for MLK Jr.'s birthday, the campus community is given the opportunity to spend part of the day doing service in Louisville. There is an opening speaker celebrating the legacy of MLK Jr. and a wrap up reflection session at the end of the day.

Vice President Student Affairs

SOUL Service Saturdays

Pam Nessle Curtis

pncurt01 (at)

An extension of the large service project done in August. Students are given an opportunity to connect with service throughout the year on various Saturdays.

Vice President Student Affairs

Welcome Week SOUL (Student Outreach Uniting Louisville)

Pam Nessle Curtis

pncurt01 (at)

An annual service project held the Saturday before fall classes start. Part of the Welcome Week series of events, the purpose of this program is to introduce our incoming students to a culture of service while at UofL as well as to provide an opportunity to explore some of the city they will be calling home.

Executive Vice President for Research

Partnership for a Green City

Brent Fryrear

BFryrear (at)

The Partnership works on sustainability initiatives across four public organizations, working to increase organizational sustainability while also being good stewards of the taxpayers money.

Total UofL Involvement in these 2011-12 Partnerships:

Faculty & Staff: 74

Students: 616