Urban sustainability inspires students to Pittsburgh neighborhoods | Penn State University

Pittsburgh – Penn State student Capricia Williams says she learned something she could not find in a book or class this past semester. Williams, head of animal science at the College of Agricultural Sciences, said she is looking for her nest and her work with the Sankofa Village Community Garden – part of her enrollment in the city’s semester Pittsburgh program.

“My first day with Mama Ayana Jones, the CEO and founder of the Sankofa Village Garden Garden, opened my eyes to the issues and realities of food apartheid,” Williams said. “These lessons are not heard in class or documentaries. Her personal identity as a member of the Black Panthers, a member of the Black Liberation Army, and a resident of Pittsburgh showed me the changes in work, housing and food in the black community.

Jones says the garden in the Pittsburgh Homewood neighborhood is not your usual farm. Where people can get acquainted with sustainable farming, heal and get a voice, grow food to teach – not to sell.

“Teaching people to farm solves many problems. They learn to respect the earth and grow their own food. If you can feed yourself, no one can deny you, ”Jones said. “The younger students are like a sponge, eager to learn, and not worried. We rent bikes and helmets for them and their terms are intertwined. Four-hour gardening cycling for four hours. Some children are now building their own bicycles and teaching others how to do it. We also have Worm Farm and Keelin’s Place, designed for children with autism, named after my grandson.

Williams’ responsibilities included preparing the farm for the “farm out of the box,” which would allow the Sankofa community’s garden to store produce in a cold storage area, using raised beds with irrigation systems and power generation equipment. From solar panels. Williams Learn and Get in touch with other students The program, the Student Protection Association, and those who visited the farm used vegetables and herbs to participate in a cooking workshop and learn more about black urban agriculture.

“During my practice, I met with Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Reding, State Senator Jay Costa (de Alegeni), T. Rashid Bydersoning, CEO and Founder of the Community Development Association, and other community leaders,” Williams said. I can share my relationships with members of minorities in agriculture, natural resources and related sciences (MANRRS), so they may have a unique agricultural perspective and opportunities in Pittsburgh.

The city semester offers a variety of community charities to collaborate during the semester.

Brianna Bennett, a bio-behavioral health specialist at the College of Health and Human Development, and Charlotte Schmidt, a master of landscape architecture at the College of Arts and Architecture, worked with the Brasher Association – a non-profit social service program for the Hilltop Pittsburgh communities. Bennett, for her part, was focused on community access and planning for the unlucky Brush CARES Community Center, which will open in September 2021.

“Charlotte and I have been able to understand their needs and aspirations at community council meetings, with city representatives and members of the Knoxville and Mount Oliver neighborhoods,” Bennett said. The space has the potential to be a great outdoor recreation area for Brashire CARES fans, and we want to make sure the changes are more beneficial to the community.

City semester registration is open for spring 2022, there is a student union. To find out more, visit the Penn State Center Pittsburgh. The summer semester union is funded by Pepsico and Tartak Business Floor.

Penn State Center Pittsburgh is part of the Penn Province and is home to an energy innovation center.

  • Charlotte Schmidt had an experience with the Barshar Association as part of her experience in the City Semester Pittsburgh program.

  • High bed parks in front of buildings in Pittsburgh Homewoodwood.

    Sankofa Village Community Garden in Pittsburgh.

  • Capricia Williams and T. Rashid Bairdson.

    Capricia Williams and T. Richards Byrson, Founder and CEO of Community Development Association.

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