September Sustainable Cities Project Update

Through learning about and using our research team's prototype agent-based model, the Community Growers youth began to think about their community garden as a community gathering place as well as place to grow healthy food.  

Image 1: Students collaberating on agent based model

Image 2: Student reviewing agent based model for community partnership.

Out of the ideas they generated with the ABM, these Community Growers youth (all members of the Baker Boys & Girls Club) began to establish a series of community partnerships--Eat Greater Des Moines, Urban Lumber Initiative--in addition to their existing partnership with the Des Moines Public Schools. Their work with GIS and the ABM ultimately led to hosting community partner meetings with these organizations as well as to the youth deciding that they are gifted as community leaders because they lead together and lead with other community leaders. Using models has been instrumental in sparking bonding and bridging social capital.

Image 3: Community members enjoy tour of gardens during Garden Party.

The Community Growers co-hosted their Garden Party on September 9th with Eat Greater Des Moines and the Des Moines Public Schools as community partners. Leaders from the City of Des Moines and Community Housing Initiatives as well as gardeners from around the Greater Des Moines area attended for an afternoon of food, garden tours, music (youth selected), and--for the ISU research team--data collection on weatherization.