Greetings from Cari Phillips, Union's Environmental Stewardship Coordinator! I am thrilled to join the Union community in the ongoing efforts in environmental stewardship.
We are on the verge of a great movement at Union and are beginning several projects that we hope will change the way students, faculty, staff, and the community view their
created environment. Dean Kimberly Thornbury has been working since 2009 to get the recycling program up and running, and to encourage sustainability across Union's campus.
Her hard work shows in both in the money Union has saved, and in the improved amount of participation in recycling in the student apartments and across campus.
We're hoping to keep raising the numbers and find more ways to encourage participation in our sustainability events and programs.
We have four goals in our mission to serve the university and the community: Education, creation of the Campus Garden, Community Development, and Environmental Stewardship initiatives.
- The Office of Environmental Stewardship and the Office of Spiritual Life partners with Urban Farms Memphis for the BDC Memphis Go Trip, taking a group of 8 students and two faculty/staff on a week long Go Trip to work on the Urban Farm, tour the Central Nutritional Center, and learn about how farming can be an avenue for ministry and community service.
- Environmental issues and ethics are taught in the curriculum across multiple disciplines including but not limited to: Honors, Biology, and the School of Theology and Missions.
- Through the creation of a the Union Community Garden project, Union students, faculty, and staff will join together to grow healthy organic food, learn about the importance of health and nutrition, learn practical hands on skills, and share food with neighbors in need.
- The garden will serve as a springboard for smaller garden plots in lower income communities in Jackson. With the first one starting at Hartland Apartments.
- Professors may use work in the garden alongside class curriculum to provide hands on coursework for students, and an invaluable learning environment.
Environmental Stewardship Initiatives:
- The Office of Environmental Stewardship seeks to encourage local partnerships whenever possible.
- We seek to be proactive instead of reactive to the environmental and community issues in Jackson by partnering with organizations like RIFA, Jackson City Beautiful, Goodwill, Sunrise Recycling Company, Rose Creek Village Farms, Memphis City School Farms, Hartland Apartments, Urban Farms Memphis, and area churches.
- The Office of Sustainability will provide marketing and education for environmental stewardship, pursue sustainable options for university waste, encourage husbandry of the land and local resources, and inform the union community about issues affecting our daily lives in areas of health, waste, and environment.