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Gallagher Hannan MAS 2018


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Presentation for 2018 Massachusetts Sustainable Communities and Campuses Conference in Plymouth, MA

Published in: Environment
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Gallagher Hannan MAS 2018

  2. 2. Learning with Purpose BRIEF OVERVIEW UMASS LOWELL • Fast growing university tightly integrated into our host city of Lowell • 18,000 students and 2,000 employees • Over 40 buildings with 4.7 million square feet spread across 150 acres • 17 NCAA Division I Athletic Teams • UMass Lowell has undergone rapid growth between FY 2011 and FY 2017: - Enrollment increased by 18% - Physical size increased by 24% - GHG Emissions decreased by 15% • New construction and major renovations continue to come online and enrollment is projected to continue to increase. • Focus on sustainability in Strategic Plan
  3. 3. Learning with Purpose BRIEF OVERVIEW MILL CITY GROWS • Fostering food access and improving physical health, economic independence and environmental sustainability in Lowell through increased access to land, locally grown food and education. • 7 Community Gardens with almost 200 garden plots • 3 Urban Farm sites growing 30,000 lbs of produce • 2 Mobile Markets making 11 stops per season • 14 School Gardens at Lowell Public Schools • 9 gardens installed with partner sites in 2 years
  4. 4. Learning with Purpose INNOVATION IN URBAN FARMING, FOOD ACCESS IN LOWELL THE ISSUES • The City of Lowell suffers from high levels of poverty, lack of access to fresh fruits & vegetables and high levels of adult and child obesity* Behavioral Risk factor Surveillance Data, Lowell Food Security Coalition's 2013 Community Food Assessment • Mill City Grows needs secure access to land & year-round production space • Desire to increase visibility of sustainability initiatives on the UMass Lowell Campus • Faculty & Researchers interested in Food / Energy / Water Nexus – No viable site for hands-on research
  5. 5. Learning with Purpose UNDERUTILIZED SPACE ON UMASS LOWELL CAMPUS THE OPPORTUNITY • East Campus Community Garden • Student Run Initiative - Varying interest year to year • Office of Sustainability inherited this site in 2015 • Aware of the work Mill City Grows was already doing in Lowell • Diversifying our own food system – No sense in going it alone in urban setting
  6. 6. Learning with Purpose UMASS LOWELL URBAN AGRICULTURE CENTER THE VISION Establish an urban agriculture center that will be a year round growing site for Mill City Grows. The site will be a place to engage the University's staff and student population in Urban Agriculture, as well as a testing ground where university researchers and students can work with Mill City Grows and community members to develop new and efficient ways to address the food / energy / water nexus. Produce will be donated and sold back to the local community. Produce will also be served in the university’s dining halls.
  7. 7. Learning with Purpose UMASS LOWELL URBAN AGRICULTURE CENTER SHARED GOALS • Create a year-round production site on the UML campus to be managed by Mill City Grows, in order to help MCG increase overall production. • Engage the University's community, and the greater Lowell community, in sustainability issues through the lens of urban growing and farming. • Create an environment of problem-solving and collaboration between Mill City Grows and the UMass Lowell community to work on issues surrounding urban agriculture. • Provide produce to the university dining hall and donate to the UML student food pantry. • Create a living showpiece to engage the larger Lowell community.
  8. 8. Learning with Purpose FUNDING / DESIGN / CONSTRUCTION IMPLEMENTATION • UMass Lowell received two MDAR Urban Agriculture Grants for site work, infrastructure and greenhouse structure • We went through several rounds of design. • Construction Bid Packet & Dedicated Project Manager • Construction jointly managed between UMass Lowell and the Mill City Grows Urban Farm Program. • UMass Lowell contributed matching funds to MDAR grants to ensure successful delivery of the project. • Mill City Grows operates the site under a License Agreement from the university
  9. 9. Learning with Purpose SITE MASTER PLAN
  10. 10. Learning with Purpose GREENHOUSE CONSTRUCTION & SITE WORK
  11. 11. Learning with Purpose GREENHOUSE CONSTRUCTION & SITE WORK
  12. 12. Learning with Purpose IT WAS CHALLENGING…… LESSONS LEARNED • Extremely tight turnaround with Urban Ag Grant for a capital project that required design, permitting etc. • Planning and budgeting – small non-profit versus State procurement guidelines created obstacles. • Parameters for student and faculty involvement – we have been blown away by the response to date! • Challenging soil conditions, much like many urban agriculture sites – however in this case it also presented an opportunity:
  13. 13. Learning with Purpose PARTNERSHIP MOVING FORWARD • Mutual benefit for UMass Lowell & Mill City Grows • Phase 1 Complete. Phase 2 – build out production space and iron out partnership expectations • Phase 3 will involve beginning to use the site as an innovation space for Urban Agriculture • Pursue research funding focused on Food / Energy / Water Nexus • Explore other ways to bring students and faculty out onto the site. • Enhance the site as a hub for Mill City Grows production
  14. 14. Learning with Purpose
  15. 15. Learning with Purpose