Mission: Education Outreach The MU Sustainability Gardens seek to educate community children, students and residents on fresh foods, gardening, and healthy sustainable living. A half-century of depopulation has left the city of Huntington, WV with a 30% poverty rate, significant food insecurity issues, and an obesity epidemic among children and adults. To combat this serious community health crisis, teaching about organic growing methods and fresh nutrition is imperative. Goals We look to reach students and community residents with the knowledge needed to grow their own food and save money, to reinforce healthier choices, and to live a more active lifestyle. Our Sustainability Gardens, used as hands-on-learning environments, will engage our participants. Our program will empower them, expanding their interest in raising and eating fresh produce, and incorporating sustainable methods in their lifestyle. Teaching tours using our Green Trail allow us reach out to the community and share the importance of sustainability. We have eight (8) gardens, each representing a sustainability topic: Student Gardens – organic food and container production. Pollinator | Habitat | Monarch Gardens – protecting pollinators and wildlife. Rooftop | Green Roof Gardens – green roofs and water conservation. Rain Gardens – plant based storm water management and filtration. Additional locations along the Green Trail will assist in showcasing the many green initiatives on campus and providing a real example of how these efforts are helping to keep Marshall sustainable. We seek to expand our outreach program to better utilize our gardens in educating K-12, at-risk, and college students, plus area residents, on innovative sustainable methods, organic farming practices, the health benefits of eating more fresh local produce; as well as how growing and purchasing locally raised foods affects their wallet and the community. Hands-on learning, such as planting and harvesting produce, building in-home worm composters, and transplanting newspaper-pot seedlings, will make the science, math, and nutrition concepts more understandable. They will learn where their food comes from & how to grow it. Visit the Sustainability Department to learn about all of MU‘s Green Initiatives.