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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Thriving Neighbors Series sprouts sustainability workshops for Indy residents

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The Indianapolis Office of Sustainability, in collaboration with Indy Parks, is launching a springtime series jam-packed with informative and engaging workshops focused on sustainability and climate action. The Thriving Neighbors Series aims to empower residents with the knowledge and resources to participate actively in environmental stewardship.

“We recognize that Indianapolis community members are increasingly concerned about climate change and are eager to explore methods for adopting a more sustainable lifestyle and fortifying their resilience against environmental challenges,” Director of the Indianapolis Office of Sustainability Morgan Mickelson said in a statement.

The series boasts seven unique workshops, each led by local experts and conveniently held at Indy Parks family centers. All workshops are free to attend and cater to all age groups.

The first session, titled “Climate Change 101 with Dr. Gabe Filippelli of the IU Environmental Resilience Institute,” kicked off on April 9 at 5:30 p.m. at the Rhodius Park Family Center. This workshop provides a foundational understanding of climate change, a critical first step for those seeking to engage in environmental action.

Nature enthusiasts can join the “Eco-Therapy” workshop scheduled for Saturday, April 13, at 1 p.m. at the Washington Park Family Center. Led by Hemlock Counseling Services, this session delves into the therapeutic benefits of reconnecting with nature and concludes with a guided walk through the park’s scenic trails.

As Earth Day nears, the series incorporates a special event on environmental justice on April 26 at 11 a.m. at the Garfield Park Family Center. In conjunction with the Kheprw Institute, this workshop sheds light on the unequal environmental burden shouldered by certain communities in Indianapolis. To commemorate Arbor Day, attendees at this event will also receive complimentary tree saplings courtesy of AES Indiana.

Water conservation takes center stage on May 1 at the Brookside Park Family Center during the “Water + Rain Barrels” workshop co-hosted by the Marion County Soil & Water Conservation District and the White River Alliance. This session educates residents on rainwater harvesting techniques, and the first ten registrants will be rewarded with free rain barrels!

Indy Go Green will be leading a workshop on “How to Compost” on Thursday, May 9, at 6 p.m. at the Pride Park Family Center. This workshop empowers residents to implement sustainable waste management practices in their own backyards.

Those seeking to explore healthy and delicious plant-based cuisine can look forward to the “Healthy & Sustainable Eating with Black Leaf Vegan” workshop on May 16 at 10 a.m. at the Frederick Douglass Park Family Center. This interactive session goes beyond theory, offering food samples and a delectable plant-based meal for registered participants.

The series concludes with a “Home Energy Rebates with the Hoosier Environmental Council” workshop on May 22 at 6 p.m. at the Municipal Gardens Family Center. This session empowers residents to capitalize on financial incentives available for adopting energy-efficient practices within their homes.

Beyond the workshops, the Indy Parks department invites the community to celebrate Earth Month by actively participating in park cleanups. Keep Indianapolis Beautiful has generously donated gloves and trash bags, which will be available for pickup at all Indy Parks family centers throughout April. Residents are encouraged to share their park cleanup efforts on social media using the hashtag #IndyParksEarthMonth.

The Thriving Neighbors Series is underwritten by a grant awarded by the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering equitable, resilient, and sustainable communities through empowering local governments to champion transformative change.

“We envision these workshops as a platform for residents to connect with their neighbors and return home equipped with the tools, resources, and connections to become part of the solution and continue advocating for local climate action,” Mikelson said.

Contact multi-media and sports reporter Noral Parham III at (317)-762-7846. Follow him @3Noral. For more news courtesy of the Indianapolis Recorder, click here.

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