Grant helps to create a community hub

ASU ImpactA blighted neighborhood is transforming into a community hub, complete with a vegetable garden tended by refugee families, thanks in part to a $2,500 gift from Mortenson Construction to ASU’s School of Sustainability. Working with the humanitarian organization International Rescue Committee, ASU students and residents cultivate produce in an aquaponics greenhouse at 1616 West Camelback Road, a low-income neighborhood in Central Phoenix that has limited nutritional options. "Through careful and intensive design, this project could become a place for the refugee community to call home and feel integrated into the neighborhood," says Josh Greene, a senior in architectural studies. Students used their work with the IRC to win an additional $1,500 grant from ASU’s Changemaker Challenge, a program that helps students execute ideas for social change. The team, called CamelBackyard, is continuing its work by forging new partnerships with the conservation groups the Nature Conservatory and the Watershed Management Group.