Wells Fargo has awarded $100,000 to the Environmental Studies Program for an innovative urban agriculture project. Working with the King County Wastewater Treatment Division, the Environmental Studies Program is developing a farm site on the unused parcel of the wastewater treatment site in Renton, WA. Produce from the farm will support local food banks.Wells Fargo has made support for sustainable agriculture a priority. “Seattle University’s innovative urban agriculture project is an important opportunity for Wells Fargo to invest in a sustainable food system that benefits the environment while also providing nourishment to members of our community,” said Patrick Yalung, Wells Fargo’s Washington regional president. "We think this project has the potential to be a model for the urban agriculture movement. Our team members are also ready to get their hands dirty and volunteer at the farm. We are excited to be a part of this project.”The Environmental Studies Program, chaired by Professor Gordon Miller, began partnering with King County on this demonstration project in the fall of 2010. Aside from its emphasis on producing local, organic food, the program focuses on using resources recovered from the wastewater treatment process, specifically biosolids compost and reclaimed water, for sustainable agriculture. With the benefit of the Wells Fargo grant, the project will be able to expand its educational, environmental, and community benefits.“The Renton project brings together students, faculty, county employees, volunteers from Wells Fargo, and community partners to provide fresh fruit and vegetables for local food programs,” said College of Arts and Sciences Dean David Powers. “This program not only provides food for the community, but through its educational outreach component, it gives local school kids information about food, nutrition, and healthy eating.”
Students from local Renton and South King County schools will work at the site, harvest produce, prepare a meal together, and take home food to share with their families. Wells Fargo National Environmental Grant Programs support environmental nonprofits, universities and clean technology incubator programs to help break down barriers to progress in renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable agriculture— three areas of great significance to our national economy, quality of life, and business. Grants range from $25,000 to $500,000. To learn more about Wells Fargo’s environmental grant programs and other initiatives please go here.
Pictured above are Environmental Studies majors Madelyn Hamilton, a junior, and senior Carey DeVictoria-Michel.
The College of Arts and Sciences, the largest college in Seattle University, offers 33 undergraduate and 7 advanced degree programs. Environmental Studies, a interdisciplinary program, offers coursework that focuses on socially responsible and environmentally sustainable urban agriculture.
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