LOS ANGELES (July 11, 2017) The U.S. Green Building Council-Los Angeles (USGBC-LA) Chapter is busy working on its summer endeavor, the Veggie Bus Classroom Project. Proposed by Community Services Unlimited Inc. (CSU), the Veggie Bus was selected by the USGBC-LA as its 2017 Legacy Project due to its reuse, recycle-&-upcycle and additional sustainability goals. USGBC-LA is providing funding and volunteers to help CSU transform an old diesel school bus, no longer in use, into a classroom, plant nursery and seed library…hence, its new name. The beneficiaries of the project will be residents of South L.A. who participate in educational programs and classes offered by CSU.
The Legacy Project is now an annual gift from the USGBC-LA to a local community, a permanent project providing an enduring means of service and education. The LA Chapter decided to continue awarding annual Legacy Projects after last year’s Eco-Tech Makerspace project, a gift to the city for hosting the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, was deemed a success for and by the local community of Gardena and Two-Bit Circus Foundation, formerly T4T.org, who runs the Makerspace.
The Veggie Bus is a bright, inspiring endeavor for our volunteers to get involved in a hands-on project that has direct benefits for the local community in South LA,” says USGBC-LA Executive Director Dominique Hargreaves. “Urban agriculture is an important facet of sustainable communities and this project is at the intersection of urban ag and sustainable building.”
The Veggie Bus will become a permanent part of the urban farm and wellness center that is being developed at CSU’s headquarter, the Paul Robeson Community Wellness Center in South L.A., and will include and feature sustainable design elements such as:
• Solar panels
• Water catchments systems
• Reclaimed materials
To date, USGBC-LA volunteers have worked with CSU and community members to strip old flooring and seating from the bus, help with design specs for its interior, organize material donations by USGBC-LA member companies, and retouch the exterior mural. The bus is now well on its way to fulfilling its new purpose. Upcoming volunteer opportunities to work on the bus are:
• Saturday, Aug. 12 – install solar panels and electrical, interior design elements and vertical planters.
• Saturday, Sept. 9 – prepare seed library, install awnings, plant native and edible plants, install signage, etc.
• Saturday, Oct. 28 – Bus Unveiling / USGBC-LA Green Apple Event
“We are working to help a decommissioned bus get back into the business of moving people from point A to B. While, the bus can no longer physically transport people, it can and will move people to rethink and reimagine what is possible,” notes Legacy Project chair Maya Henderson of Kilroy Realty Corporation. “CSU and this project are showcasing what engaged development looks like and why it is critical to the health and sustainability of a community, both social and ecological.”
The Veggie Bus will be incorporated into CSU’s existing and future programming “designed to foster the creation of communities actively working to address the inequalities and systemic barriers that make sustainable communities and self-reliant life-styles unattainable”, according to their proposal. It will be accessible to residents of the Greater Los Angeles area during joint CSU and USGBC-LA events.
For more information on the Legacy Project, please visit www.usgbc-la.org. If you’d like to contribute project or any other sponsorship support, please email Dominique@usgbc-la.org.
About U.S. Green Building Council-Los Angeles
USGBC-LA is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization committed to creating a prosperous and sustainable future within one generation. Our mission promotes sustainability in LA County’s built environment by delivering access to knowledge, resources, recognition and networking. (www.usgbc-la.org)
About Community Services Unlimited Inc.
Community Services Unlimited Inc. (CSU), is a 501©3 established in 1977 and headquartered in South Central Los Angeles. Our mission is to foster the creation of communities actively working to address the inequalities and systemic barriers that make sustainable communities and self-reliant lifestyles unattainable. We are committed to supporting and creating justice-driven community-based programs and educational initiatives which seek to foster dialogue, and create awareness and critical consciousness. We envision equitable, healthful and sustainable communities that are self-reliant, inter relating and where every individual has the support and resources needed to develop to their fullest capacity. (http://csuinc.org/)