Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 53.79
Liaison Leslie North
Submission Date March 5, 2020

STARS v2.2

Western Kentucky University
EN-10: Community Partnerships

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Leslie North
Director of Sustainability
Geography and Geology
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability :
WKU & the Community Farmers Market

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? :
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe?:
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership?:
Sustainability-focused

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners? :
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability:

WKU partners with the Community Farmers Market to support the local food system and to improve access and affordability for underserved populations. This partnership began in 2012 with a collaborative USDA grant, which was written in partnership between the two organizations. The grant provided funding for a local food directory, mini grants for farmer logo development, and a mobile market to bring fresh, local foods to underserved populations identifying through a student research project. The University has also given the market a space to operate, allowing for free year round operation. This support has resulted in greater sales for local farmers, allowing them to transition from part-time to full time farming. Additionally, local food sales to underserved populations have increased, as evidenced by SNAP and EBT sales. The Community Farmers Market also accepts "Big Red Dollars", student credit that can be used for food and other items around the community, encouraging students to purchase fresh, local food. Finally, the Community Farmers Market has begun to serve as a hub for distributing local food to institutional buyers, and particularly WKU. This partnership began several years ago but continues to grow and transform our campus and great community.
https://www.communityfarmersmarketbg.com/


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (2nd partnership):
WKU Food Recovery Network

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (2nd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (2nd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus? (2nd partnership):
Sustainability-focused

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners? (2nd partnership):
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (2nd partnership):

WKU created an official chapter of the Food Recovery Network in February 2019. The WKU Office of Sustainability provides a meeting space for the student organization and stores materials for recovered food. Students are recovering bagels and pastries from Einstein's Bagels on campus and have donated this food to four charities in the Bowling Green community: Meals Inc., Christ Episcopal Church, the Salvation Army, and the WKU Food Pantry. The organization attempts to ameliorate food insecurity among Bowling Green residents and WKU students, while reducing the amount of waste produced on campus.
https://www.foodrecoverynetwork.org/kentucky#WKU


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (3rd partnership):
WKU Top Crops

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (3rd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (3rd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership? (3rd partnership):
Sustainability-related

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners? (3rd partnership):
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (3rd partnership):

Top Crops, located at the Western Kentucky University Farm, is a garden project offering training and continuing education opportunities for adults with special needs. Special needs adults will be trained to prepare the soil, plant seeds, tend plants, harvest the crop, sort, package, and sell these essential foods to the community while learning about these foods and their nutritional value by incorporating more of them into their own diet. Other educational opportunities would involve food preparation, fitness, bookkeeping, and other responsibilities associated with running a business. Additionally, it can offer research, teaching, and internship opportunities to students enrolled at WKU.
https://topcropsblog.wordpress.com/


A brief description of the institution’s other community partnerships to advance sustainability:

WKU's The $100 Solution™ utilizes the five principles of service learning -- Reciprocity, Partnership, Capacity Building, Sustainability, and Reflection -- to answer a central question: "with this $100 bill, what can I do to enhance your quality of life?" It teaches students to ask what they can do rather than just assuming, demonstrates that many social problems exist that can be solved with small amounts of money, and empowers them to make a difference in their community. The WKU $100 Solution™House enables students to partner with any area of the Bowling Green and international community that has an identified need.
https://www.wku.edu/housing/100solutionhouse/index.php

Resource Conservation has built partnerships across the community through events and environmental advising. They have advised Warren County leadership, the City of Bowling Green, the city school system and the county school system on how to establish recycling/composting programs and how to apply for waste diversion grants. Resource Conservation also wrote a grant on behalf of the City of Bowling Green in 2019 to fund a mobile recycling trailer for community events. Since Bowling Green doesn't have other mature waste diversion programs, Resource Conservation has participated in IdeaFest, ScienceFest and Streamside Field Day to educate children on the impact of waste diversion. The Resource Conservation coordinator serves on the "Clean the Green" committee and the "Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Day" committee. Resource Conservation has provided recycling/compost bins at the Bowling Green International Festival and BG Science Fest. Since recycling was ended in the Warren County region, the county in which WKU resides, WKU has allowed free public drop-off of recyclable materials in large community bins we have placed on our campus.


Website URL where information about the institution’s community partnerships to advance sustainability is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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