The CUES collaborates with many community partners to expand the impact of coursework and projects that benefit Indianapolis and to provide Butler students with real-world experiences. Current and past community partners in CUES-led classes and projects include:
Garcia’s Gardens is a regular host of student service learning through the NSF-funded farm-situated place-based experiential learning pedagogy and the CUES course ‘Food Systems and Metabolic Rift’.
Growing Places Indy (GPI) was one of four farms to participate in our USDA North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NSC-SARE) partnership grant awarded to The Farm at Butler to trial outdoor mushroom production. Other participating farms were Fitness Farm and Mother Love’s Garden. GPI is also a regular host of student service learning through the NSF-funded farm-situated place-based experiential learning pedagogy.
The Indianapolis Zoo, located in White River State Park, downtown Indianapolis has a mission to is to empower people and communities, both locally and globally, to advance animal conservation. As such, the Zoo works with the CUES to co-lead education and outreach for the Indy Wildlife Watch Project (IWW). Currently, the Zoo is supporting K12 adopt-a-camera curriculum efforts, has a few wildlife monitoring cameras on-grounds, and is engaging their Generation Conservation youth program in wildlife image collection and analysis. In addition, the Global Center for Species Survival offers internship opportunities to Butler students.
IndyGrown is a cooperative network of urban farmers in Indianapolis led by Purdue Extension–Marion County. The Farm at Butler is a member of this network of farmers, which provides an annual urban farm tour and shared marketing opportunities.
The Kheprw Institute seeks to empower the community through self-mastery for positive world change. The CUES collaborates with the Kheprw Institute through shared projects on food justice and urban farming. Youth and adults at the Kheprw Institute provide feedback on CUES programs and social media training to CUES staff. The CUES sociology research project seeks to understand how differently structured organizations approach food access and equity, of which the Kheprw Institute is a subject.
Lawrence Community Gardens is helping their local community combat a food desert while also teaching kids about the importance of eating healthy. As a regular host of student service learning through the NSF-funded farm-situated place-based experiential learning pedagogy and the CUES course ‘Food Systems and Metabolic Rift’, Lawrence Community Gardens helps Butler students recognize their agency in advocating for food access and ownership.
The Marion County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) provides technical and educational services to help Marion County land users conserve soil, water, and related natural resources. The CUES partners with the Marion Co. SWCD to connect with urban farmers and technical expertise related to soil health, particularly for The Farm at Butler and urban agriculture soil health research.
Mother Love’s Garden was one of four farms participating in a USDA North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NSC-SARE) partnership grant awarded to the The Farm at Butler to trial outdoor mushroom production. Other participating farms are Fitness Farm and Growing Places Indy. Farmers are being trained by Mark Jones of Sharondale Mushroom Farm. Mother Love’s is also a regular host of student service learning through the NSF-funded farm-situated place-based experiential learning pedagogy.
SEIRI is dedicated to STEM education research and the development and dissemination of STEM education programs in collaboration with external partners. The CUES is collaborating with the Institute through the project “Cultivating Scientific Literacy and Action Through Place” funded through the National Science Foundation. This project seeks to utilize the CUE Farm as an interdisciplinary hub for research and education by implementing place-based urban agriculture research modules in Butler courses.
Three Sisters Garden is a regular host of student service learning through the NSF-funded farm-situated place-based experiential learning pedagogy. The name comes from a companion planting method used by Native Americans, where each “sister” is an agricultural crop that benefits the other crops . They grow corn, squash, and beans—serving their local community by offering healthy produce at affordable prices. They also share knowledge of the benefits of a plant based diet and to introduce other fruits and vegetables that many are reluctant to try by engaging neighbors and youth in this community.
The Urban Wildlife Institute researches the interaction between urban development and the natural ecosystem. The Institute has recently developed the Urban Wildlife Information Network, a network of cities conducting long-term monitoring of wildlife to understand how animals utilize urban ecosystems. The CUES’ Indy Wildlife Watch project is one of the first cities to join this growing national network.
Touba Gardens provides Butler classes and interns with opportunities to work with an urban garden located in an Indianapolis food desert. Touba gardens engages community members and young children in a collaborative effort to build raised beds, grow healthy food, install pollinator gardens, and educate the local community about gardening and cooking with locally grown produce.
Bon Appetit at Butler University works closely with The Farm at Butler and CUES interns to bring hyperlocal food to campus. The Farm at Butler sells nearly 100% of its produce to Bon Appetit for use in the campus cafeteria. CUES staff also work closely with Bon Appetit to coordinate composting efforts, engage student interns, and educate our campus community on local, sustainably grown food products.
The Adler Planetarium connects citizens and science through STEAM programs, online citizen science, and research. The Planetarium recently flew an atmospheric balloon over Indianapolis to image nighttime light pollution in high resolution. This state-of-the-art technology has gained international attention and the CUES’ Indy Wildlife Watch project is collaborating with the Planetarium to connect the light pollution imagery to urban wildlife distributions and activity across the city of Indianapolis. This project engages undergraduate interns from both Butler and IUPUI, as well as interns at Adler Planetarium.