Urban Green Year II – from Louisville, KY to Versailles, FR

URBAN GREEN: Ecology Education for Underserved Youth

A new way of thinking about science, food, art and environment in Louisville’s oldest African American Neighborhood.

This is the 2nd year for the Urban Green ecology leadership program for urban youth in the king’s kitchen gardens of the Palace of Versailles (France). The details of last years’ trip (featuring Sierra and Q from the video above) can be found on the UrbanGreen blog.urban_green

Our goal this year is to send FOUR STUDENTS!! Your support pays for students’ housing, travel costs and apprentice instruction for two weeks.

This year, every dollar you donate is DOUBLED – a local philanthropist has already committed to match!!!  Help our young people become the next generation of green entrepreneurs and creative, civic leaders.

Why its important…

Research released in fall 2014 found that Louisville is warming at the fastest rate of any city in the nation. This causes summer temperatures in the urban core to be up to 20 degrees higher than surrounding areas. This phenomena, called the “heat island effect,” is due primarily to lack of trees and green spaces.

Smoketown, the oldest African-American neighborhood in Louisville, is home to YouthBuild Louisville (YBL) – a nationally respected education, workforce and life-skills development program. A recent health disparities study shows African-American neighborhoods, like Smoketown, are disproportionately impacted by “heat island effect” and poor air quality.

YouthBuild’s Answer: Urban Green.

How Urban Green’s Versailles program helps!

photo-41This engaging leadership development strategy helps urban youth become members of an environmentally aware workforce. YouthBuild’s Smoketown campus becomes the students’ eco-laboratory where they implement what they learn. New green spaces replace urban blight and street trees are planted in the community. A balanced urban ecology education for low-income young people and an approach to development that is co-created with our community is at the heart of Urban Green.

About Urban Green: Urban Green is a partnership between YBL, IDEAS Louisville and the Smoketown Community that uses arts-related strategies to encourage new ways of thinking about science and environment in young Kentuckians in historically dis-invested urban neighborhoods.

The program is anchored by YBL’s education, job training, and leadership program that provides low-income young adults ages 16-24 opportunities to realize their potential as active community leaders and an educated workforce for Louisville.

Urban Green programs are based at YBL which is working toward campus-wide LEED-certified distinction. YBL’s campus is also home to an organic garden and orchard, rain garden, a flock of chickens, and an outdoor classroom. URBAN GREEN programs are an important part of YBL’s environmental education program. YBL’s Green Campus is an integrated learning environment within the urban context and provides traditional classroom settings in an academic building, work space in the agri-art barn, construction shop and natural landscape for all subject areas through experiential and inspired learning. The campus is open to the public and often used for community meetings and events.

Project Collaborators

This program is a collaboration between YouthBuild Louisville, IDEAS Louisville, NYC-based Christian Duvernois (Christian Duvernois Landscape/Gallery), Antoine Jacobsohn (Director-Potager du Roi, Versailles, FR), and Isabelle Leroy-Jay Lemaistre (Retired Conservateur Général du Patrimoine Honoraire- Musée de Louvre, Paris, FR).

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