Trevecca’s Urban Farm has earned a 2021 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award for its Treecycle program.
The awards, which recognize achievements and positive impact on the state’s natural resources and communities, were announced by Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) Commissioner David Salyers, and were presented at a ceremony on October 4. Trevecca was selected in the category for environmental education and outreach.
The Urban Farm’s TreeCycle program at Trevecca works to remove barriers to health equity by empowering and employing youth to plant an edible tree canopy and vegetable gardens. In addition to environmental factors like beautification, flood prevention, air quality and clean transportation, TreeCycle helps young people address challenges like hunger, health and community advocacy. The edible canopy – a ‘forest garden’ of trees bearing fruit and nuts – helps prevent flooding, cools homes, sequesters carbon, reduces noise, settles air pollution, improves mental health and feeds pollinators. The youth employed in the program are mobilized on a fleet of refurbished bicycles. TreeCycle focuses on the low-income South Nashville neighborhoods of Napier, Sudekum and Chestnut Hill.
The Trevecca Urban Farm was founded in 2011 by Jason Adkins, and uses the concept of growing food in the city to address the challenges of feeding a community and healing the ecosystem. The farm equips local youth and students with practical skills of farming and advocacy. Partnerships with Harvest Hands Community Development Center, Oasis Bike Shop and the Cumberland River Compact have helped support the Urban Farm’s initiatives.
The Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards are presented annually to recognize outstanding achievements by individuals, local governments, businesses, organizations, educational institutions, and agencies for successful environmental projects and conservation measures. The awards program was instituted in 1986 by Ernie Blankenship of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Health, a predecessor of TDEC, and has been adopted by the Governor’s office as one of its award programs.
Trevecca Nazarene University is a Christian university in the heart of Nashville focused on preparing students for lives of leadership and service. Founded in 1901, Trevecca is committed to holistic education that encourages students to grow intellectually, socially, emotionally, physically and spiritually. In addition to its historic main campus near downtown Nashville, Trevecca offers two other locations across Tennessee, and online classes worldwide. With students from 47 states and 39 countries, Trevecca offers 20 associate degrees, 81 undergraduate majors, 25 master’s programs, and three doctoral programs as well as specialist and certificate programs.
Trevecca has been recognized recently with a national university listing in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 Best Colleges; a doctoral university classification from the Carnegie Foundation; and a statewide top 10 listing by WalletHub’s 2021 College and University Ranking.
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