The U.S. Green Building Council-Los Angeles (USGBC-LA) Chapter is working on its summer endeavor, the veggie bus classroom project. Proposed by Community Services Unlimited Inc. (CSU), Los Angeles, the veggie bus was selected by the USGBC-LA as its 2017 Legacy Project due to its reuse, recycle and 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. 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 a permanent project by USGBC-LA with the goal to provide a 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; and
water catchments systems.
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. 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 and install signage; and
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,” says Legacy Project chair Maya Henderson of Kilroy Realty Corp. “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 its proposal. It will be accessible to residents of the greater Los Angeles area during joint CSU and USGBC-LA events.