I am the director of Urban Mountain Farms, a group of people working to create a non-profit for faith-based service with reflection in Indianapolis.
How long have you been volunteering with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful?
Since the beginning of 2009, I have been a GIS Intern working on tree tracking with KIB, and I have also assisted in our Lilly Day of Service, and worked as a Youth Tree Team leader.
Why do you choose to partner with KIB on service projects?
Growing up, I lived in Indianapolis, but I feel like I never knew Indianapolis. After being away for college and various other adventures, I came back with the strong urge to connect to the communities around me that never seemed to exist before. In the midst of many discoveries, I had a meeting with Sarah Grain at KIB’s new LEED certified headquarters and realized that incredible things were happening. In 2007 I was hiking along on a fair bit of the Appalachian Trail. When once I was just walking with simple truths, now, at the end of 2009 KIB transports me like (rapid) public transit (if only, Indianapolis. . . ).
To answer the question, KIB is a massive credit to environmental action and beautification in Indy. Outstanding organizational capacity is a treasure seen easily inside the organization and resonates in everything it does. In short, working with KIB makes me feel valuable as a person in creation and provides constant education for environmental action and high functioning non-profit activity.
Also, the coffee is good.
What impact do you feel that the work with KIB has on the community?
Trees are amazing for the environment and for people. KIB is on par with national programs with urban forestry. KIB takes high impact projects and delivers them to those who need it.
KIB is working with the human spirit and it’s relationship to the environment. It encourages the spirit in a way that few have mastered, and it’s doing it in a way that’s contagious and inspiring to others. Most notice quality of life improving as a result of interaction with KIB. Some don’t notice KIB but still notice an improvement of life.
We can’t measure things that never were, so it’s hard to imagine what Indianapolis would look like without KIB, but I might get depressed and move somewhere else. At KIB we’re working on things like loving our community, improving quality of life, and enjoying our surroundings. We’re doing it well! We’re having fun! Anyone can try to do these things alone, but it’s a hard row to hoe and KIB supports people when they work together. It is a catalyst that magnifies positive changes.
On a different note, I think we are seeing a revolution of many people becoming interested in gardening, particularly edibles. I think communities and residents will see the fruits of that labor in the coming years, a truly massive impact, and I think KIB has probably pushed a few dominos to get the movement going.
Why would you encourage others to volunteer with KIB?
You will learn something you didn’t know.
You will meet someone that is a genuinely good person.
You will contribute to something that is greater than you and wouldn’t exist as it is without your help.
And who wouldn’t want to work under Jerome Delbridge?