(October 5, 2018) Kansas City, MO: As part of their first-year seminar course, 180 students at Avila University participated in an on-campus environmental sustainability project by building rain barrels on October 1 and 3, 2018. Once complete, the rain barrels will be donated to non-profit organizations in the community. “By assembling rain barrels, our students are working to create a more sustainable environment,” said Paige Illum, Ph.D., director of student engagement and success and lead faculty for Avila’s first-year experience. “By gifting the barrels to local organizations, our students are continuing to live out our mission by building a caring relationship with the community.”
Water conversation is an important component of sustainability. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, rain barrels are an efficient way to conserve water, enabling stored rainwater to be used for various purposes. Through the generosity of the Buchanan Initiative for Peace and Nonviolence at Avila University, 27 rain barrels have been purchased through Bridging the Gap.
Representatives from Bridging the Gap will be present during the rain barrel construction to help students complete the sustainability project. Bridging the Gap works to make the Kansas City region sustainable by connecting environment, economy, and community through environmental education and volunteer action. They work with more than 1,500 volunteers annually. Boys Grow, Swope Ridge Geriatric Care and Project Rally will also be present during the on-campus sustainability project to interact and engage with the students.
Once completed, the rain barrels will be installed at these community organizations:
- Boys Grow, located in Kansas City, Missouri, mentors urban youth through agricultural mentorship, and they will receive three barrels.
- Gregory Ridge Neighborhood Association is a subdivision located in South Kansas City, Missouri and will receive three barrels.
- Project Respect, Accountability, Love, Leadership, Youth (RALLY) Solutions is located in Kansas City, Kansas and will receive six rain barrels for use in their community garden to bring fresh food to communities that are situated in a food desert.
- Swope Ridge Geriatric Care, located in Kansas City, Missouri will receive four barrels.
- Synergy Services, located in Parkville, Missouri, is the only shelter for runaway and homeless youth in western Missouri and has three community garden locations and will receive a total of six barrels.
Avila University, a Catholic University founded and inspired by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, is a values-based community of learning providing liberal arts, professional, undergraduate and graduate education to prepare students for responsible, lifelong contributions to the global community.