SIUE seeks crowd funding support for rooftop garden

News-DemocratFebruary 26, 2014 

Developers of a rooftop garden project at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville are seeking crowd funding support to make the idea a reality.

The project team posted the Veggie Rooftop Garden project on superiorideas.org initially to raise $8,100 from the community to support the project.

The project will establish a vegetable garden on the patio rooftop of the Morris University Center. It is led by Susan Morgan, professor of civil engineering and associate dean of the SIUE Graduate School, and Bill Retzlaff, professor of biological sciences and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Students will learn about green roof technology and vegetable production. All produce will be used by SIUE Dining Services or donated to initiatives such as The Campus Kitchen at SIUE, which keeps food from going to waste while feeding those in need.

The collaborative effort is part of the SIUE's Green Roof Environmental Evaluation Network. In this project, GREEN is partnering with Filtrexx, St. Louis Composting and Illinois American Water to install the vegetable rooftop garden.

Funds will go to support the work of an undergraduate student and a graduate student on the project. It is hoped that by raising many small donations from a large network of donors, the project can reach its funding goal quickly. Those interested in providing donations to the project may easily submit their donations, however small, to Superior Ideas, a crowd funding site owned by Michigan Technological University.

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If you have a unique item that tells part of Belleville's story, the Belleville Bicentennial 200 History and Archive Committee wants to hear from you.

"Share your story as it relates to the history of Belleville by lending us an object that shows how Belleville began, grew, worked, learned, played or served," said Will Shannon, St. Clair County Historical Society curator and chair of the committee organizing the event.

Organizers are looking for a broad spectrum of Belleville artifacts in honor of the city's 200th birthday in 2014.

"We want to know what you own that tells the community more about where we love to live," said Schmidt Art Center Curator Nicole Dutton, co-chair of the committee. "We want folks to think about photographs, sports memorabilia, military uniforms, books, games, artwork, agricultural tools and anything else that tells about your family's Belleville."

The submission form, rules, eligibility requirements and ideas of the kinds of objects being sought for the exhibition are available at belleville200.com or call 618-222-5278 for more information.

A completed Belleville 200 Exhibition Form and questionnaire for your artifacts is due by March 21. Selected submissions will be on display July 3 through Aug. 15 at the Schmidt Art Center at Southwestern Illinois College, 2500 Carlyle Ave., Belleville, IL 62221. The exhibition will be free and open to the public.

The Belleville Bicentennial History and Archives Committee is made up of representatives from the St. Clair County Historical Society, Labor and Industry Museum, Belleville Historical Society, Gustave Koerner House Committee, St. Clair County Genealogical Society and the William and Florence Schmidt Art Center at Southwestern Illinois College.

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Lindenwood University-Belleville's Speaker Series will continue March 13 when lawyer turned filmmaker Dawn Porter will speak on the topic Public Defenders: The Keepers of Civil Rights. The presentation will happen at 7 p.m. in the Lindenwood Auditorium. It is free and open to the public.

The founder of Trilogy Films, Porter directed and produced the documentary "Gideon's Army," which won the 2013 Sundance Editing Award and the Tribeca All Access Creative Promise Award and debuted on HBO Documentary Films in July 2013. "Gideon's Army" follows three young public defenders in the Deep South during their daily mission to counsel hundreds of defendants through the strained criminal justice system. The documentary highlights the immense case load of public defenders and provides a detailed view of what their job actually involves.

Showings of "Gideon's Army" will take place in the Lindenwood Auditorium at 7 p.m. on March 6 and 10 for anyone who would like to view the film before Porter's appearance.

Porter also directed and produced "Spies of Mississippi" and was executive producer of "Serious Moonlight" starring Meg Ryan and Timothy Hutton.

Before becoming a filmmaker, Porter was the director of news standards and practices at ABC News and vice president of standards and practices at A&E Networks. She is a graduate of Swarthmore College and the Georgetown University Law Center. She was a practicing attorney before beginning her television career.

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