Rooftop gardens plan wins contest

Westfield’s Joseph Spaulding, left, and Derek Dixon of Plainfield won the 2013 Campus Sustainability Day Idea competition at IUPUI. (Submitted photo)

Westfield’s Joseph Spaulding, left, and Derek Dixon of Plainfield won the 2013 Campus Sustainability Day Idea competition at IUPUI. (Submitted photo)

Seniors Joseph Spaulding and Derek Dixon won the 2013 Campus Sustainability Day Idea competition sponsored by the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI. Teams were charged with answering the question, “What can IUPUI do to promote cooperation between sustainability and local food initiatives?” The competition embraced the Student Sustainability Council’s annual theme: the Year of Local Food.

Spaulding, a mechanical engineering student from Westfield, and Dixon, a philanthropic studies student from Plainfield, proposed creating rooftop gardens on IUPUI buildings. Produce grown in the gardens would be distributed through the food pantry that opened on campus this spring. As part of their presentation, Spaulding and Dixon explained why rooftop gardens are preferable to ground-level gardens at IUPUI, and how various schools and student organizations can become involved in creating and maintaining the gardens.

The duo won a $500 Greening Grant from the IUPUI Office of Sustainability to begin implementation of the idea, plus prizes from community supporters including Green Bean Delivery, the Indy Winter Farmer’s Market and Twenty Tap.