In many communities, recreational facilities, such as community gardens, are either inaccessible to lower-class citizens, or not readily available to the public. In Chicago, there is a lack of sustainable resources which not only contributes to climate change but also negatively affects a large part of the community. It is up to the community to implement new resources to further better the community and the environment.
Six student members of Oakton Community College’s IEEE Student Branch, along with two volunteers, will participate in the Environmental Competition by EPICS in IEEE, in partnership with the UEF, to introduce sustainable and accessible resources to their community. They created this project to increase awareness about sustainable practices while making them accessible to all sociodemographic areas. Their goal is for the community to use a community garden, which will reduce the carbon footprint, and introduce new healthy practices.
The team will split this project into three sectors. First, they will start up an accessible community garden, as part of an endorsement project, to ensure recreational and gardening usage is available to the entire community. The second sector focuses on obtaining community members’ opinions on the new garden through interviews, field studies, outreach events, and more. The third sector requires the team to put together all of their acquired information into a sustainability/engineering report about the effect this had on both climate change and their community.
EPICS in IEEE has granted them $2,000 to start working on their community-driven project. The team, as well as their partner organization, hopes to introduce meaningful recreational and gardening resources to better their lives, while also reducing climate change.