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Windshield Tour of Westside of Indianapolis

           On Friday, December 5th CEES assistant director Jessica Davis and I, went on a windshield tour of the Westside of Indianapolis with the goal of scouting out possible CEES service learning projects for next semester. The Westside of Indianapolis is made up of four neighborhoods: Haughville, We Care, Stringtown, and Hawthorne. All four neighborhoods differ in demographic, and income, but share the common goal of improving their community. Over the last ten years, grants have been awarded to these four neighborhoods and used to implement libraries that provide after school activities, senior centers, and community gardens. IUPUI students have been big in helping to clean up and improve these communities. Last year IUPUI Herron School of Art students donated their time to design and paint electrical boxes and give abandoned buildings a splash of color with a mural. In what was once called Central State is now referred to as Central Greens, an area that gives meaning to what an area can be once restored. Now sits a school serving children K-8, a brand new football field, and a community garden with fresh vegetables.  

            With projects popping up around the Westside of Indy, as are the service learning opportunities for CEES. In Haughville, Bright Farms Commercial Greenhouse recently purchased a 100,000 square foot piece of land that has the potential to become a greenhouse that could produce food for the whole neighborhood, year long. Other potential CEES projects include the expansion of the community gardens found in Central Greens and the small lot gardens, around We Care and Haughville neighborhoods. In the meantime, CEES will continue to be on the lookout for future projects that incorporate: service, the community, and the encouragement environmental ethics through education.

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