At times, sustainability moves beyond the borders of the UW-Milwaukee campus. Whether it be student pathways or literally the roads that bring you to campus, sustainability is part of the rich community connections that UWM is known for.
Harold S. Vincent High School- Return to Urban Agriculture Educational Programming
UWM’s Office of Sustainability has been just one component of many efforts converging to bring back Vincent High School’s agricultural focus. Through a Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program grant-funded project, the office worked with the Institute for Urban Agriculture & Nutrition and Elyve Organics, an entrepreneurial composting venture, to examine the potential for a closed loop composting operation at the high school. The project deliverables, including a VHS specific composting manual and curriculum & teacher engagement report, paired well with the office’s engagement with the VHS Community Task Force, bringing sustainable agriculture back to the high school.
The office continues to build capacity at Vincent High School, through a Social Compact grant that supported the “Learn.Earn.Grow.” (L.E.G.) program in 2017. L.E.G. interrelates access to experiential learning, healthy foods, and a youth development and mentorship program for Milwaukee teens. This project interweaves a new partner, Cream City Conservation Corps. CCCC provides youth development, mentorship, and experiential learning and earning in summer conservation programs. The L.E.G. program uses the CCCC model to introduce high school students to higher education through summer urban agriculture jobs. L.E.G. delivered a 6-week cross-campus program, enhancing each facility’s urban food production with farming and composting activities. The program also expanded to Washington High School students who were able to garden at the Mary Ryan Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee. Vincent and Washington students paired with Crew Leaders (UWM & MATC students) who provided sustainable food-based experiential education to build Milwaukee youth’s readiness to join the growing green jobs marketplace.
Path to Platinum- Uniting Milwaukee One Bike at a Time
The Path to Platinum is a broad-based effort made up of stakeholders throughout the Milwaukee area committed to building an active and engaged community. UWM’s Office of Sustainability has been a founding and committed community member in this effort. UWM’s transportation needs are not bound by the campus borders. UWM’s presence is needed throughout the city, to meet the needs of its students, faculty, and staff. The Path to Platinum is one of the means to represent the university in city planning efforts, as well as show support for other universities and all citizens of the Milwaukee community that want access to safe streets.