The Sustainability InstituteThe Sustainability Institute

By Katherine Richards

Art

Last night’s Upper Peninsula Gathering took place on 126 Williman Street, at the new downtown location of lowcountry’s own Fiery Ron’s Home Team BBQ. The topic of the night was art, so SI prepared accordingly. 

As guests enjoyed their delicious BBQ, donated by from HomeTeam, Cathryn Zommer of Enough Pie, and Fiorenzo Berardozzi with cone 10 studios took the stage.

Enough Pie is a catalyst for inclusive and inspiring community engagement in the Upper Peninsula, through dynamic partnerships, artistic collaborations and creative placemaking.

Berardozzi is one of cone 10 studios’ owners.
The studio houses a group of ceramicists using a gas-reduction kiln to minimize the effects on the environment.

Additionally, a representative from
The Spoleto Festival came and spoke last night. Spoleto’s prop warehouse is located in the Upper Peninsula. The representative talked briefly about their incentive to come to theUpper Peninsula for more space for all of their props, costumes and equipment, reiterating the importance of organizing with sustainable practices in the area. The Spoleto Festival, a staple of Upper  Peninsula living, is held annually, in
May.

Art is a very important part of life on the Upper Peninsula, and with so many great organizations, communities and cultures represented around the UP area, it is easy to understand why.

The Upper Peninsula Initiative is a public-private planning effort managed by the City of Charleston and the backbone organization, The Sustainability Institute.

For more information, please visit CharlestonUp.com or email info@charlestonUP.com.

Photos by Stan Foxworthy Foxworthy Studios.

*UPI is a community centered, neighborhood oriented program created with the needs of the areas it serves in mind. The results of any survey conducted do not use empirical m
ethods of data collection, and are not necessarily reflective of the community at large.

 

By Katherine Richards

Urban Agriculture

Revelry Brewing, a local brewery specializing in in-house made craft beer, hosted the Upper Peninsula Initiative’s gathering on urban agriculture. This UPI gathering brought together like minded individuals — devoted to creating a cleaner, greener, more sustainable future here on the peninsula.

Lindsey Barrow and Kate DeWitt of Lowcountry Street Grocery, the lowcountry’s mobile farmer’s market, spoke of their business’ mission to provide and sustain food access for impoverished communities on the peninsula. Their groceries ride around on an electric green school bus — the LSG bus. It has been renovated to store the fresh groceries until they find a home. Neat, right?


Guests were able to lend the big green bus a helping hand, suggesting potential bus stops for LSG.

Additional speakers included Germaine Jenkins from Fresh Future Farms and Drew Harrison with The Green Heart Project.

Fresh Future Farms provides the lowcountry with the cleanest, greenest eats around town — revitalizing unused greenspaces into green gardens ready for harvest. FFS is a nonprofit urban farm and grocery store, in response to addressing food, health and economic disparities on the peninsula.

The Green Heart Project embodies the mission of The Upper Peninsula Initiative, and delivers it directly to the hands of little ones. Its programs aim to instill the importance of sustainable development in students, through a local agricultural process.

The gathering on Tuesday welcomed about 90 guests — and yes, thanks to the gracious host, everyone had seconds.

Revelry gave a percentage of beer sales raises from the evening back to the initiative. Thanks!

A survey was conducted to help UPI decide which projects should be next on the to-do list.

The results of the survey are as follows:

The Upper Peninsula Initiative is a public-private planning effort managed by the City of Charleston and the backbone organization, The Sustainability Institute.

For more information, please visit CharlestonUp.com or email info@charlestonUP.com.

Photos by Stan Foxworthy Foxworthy Studios.

*UPI is a community centered, neighborhood oriented planning initiative, created with the needs of the areas it serves in mind. The results of any survey conducted do not use empirical methods of data collection, and are not necessarily reflective of the community at large.

By Katherine Richards

Transportation

The Sustainability Institute’s Upper Peninsula Initiative program was joined by about 50 residents at their forum on transportation yesterday evening.


Utilizing EcoDistrict, a collaborative planning framework, The Upper Peninsula Initiative works to help promote thoughtful, sustainable growth and development in the area.

Yesterday’s UPI forum highlighted the importance of public transportation on the Peninsula, identifying the need for more effective, sustainable and environmentally responsible options. Marie Curtis and Lindsay Nevin are designing a solar powered bus shelter as a more sustainable alternative. The gathering’s attendees voted on potential bus stop locations to help better serve the community.

The results are as follows:

 

On that same note, an SC Energy grant awarded to The Sustainability Institute will go towards creating the first solar panel system and real time bus schedule display for a shelter in Charleston, located at 1600 Meeting Street.

Other guest speakers in attendance included Sylvie Baele and Martin Pence. Additionally, Gotcha Bike‘s Sean Flood brought a bike to the gathering for display.

Sylvie Baele works with Holy City Bike Co-op, a group of residents promoting bicycles as a viable, sustainable mode of transportation. The group is part of a coalition of advocacy organizations, working to tackle the same obstacles
Martin Pence works with Roll With it, a business that provides bike racks and pumps on the Peninsula — resources that are both in high demand.

Thanks to gracious host, Desano Pizza Bakery everyone (yes, all every last one of them) left with an extra slice and full stomachs.

Sponsor of the evening was Geoff Scott Financial, a local industry leader on the Peninsula.

 

A survey collected found that the majority of residents are calling on UPI to take on and prioritize transportation and mobility on the peninsula — the hot topic of the hour.


The results of the survey are as follows:

 

The Upper Peninsula Initiative is a public-private planning effort managed by the City of Charleston and the backbone organization, The Sustainability Institute.

For more information, please visit CharlestonUp.com or email info@charlestonUP.com.

Photos by Stan Foxworthy Foxworthy Studios.

*UPI is a community centered, neighborhood oriented program created with the needs of the areas it serves in mind. The results of any survey conducted do not use empirical methods of data collection, and are not necessarily reflective of the community at large.

By Katherine Richards

Innovation Incubators

The Sustainability Institute brought an Upper Peninsula Initiative event to Charleston on Tuesday, January 26th. The gathering focused on tech innovation and was hosted by Local 616, a specialty bar on Meeting Street. The bar is owned and operated by a brother-sister duo, both Charleston natives.

The Charleston Upper Peninsula Initiative is an innovative, community planning and urban redevelopment effort focused on the Upper Eastside of the Charleston peninsula.

Local 616  is one of Charleston’s favorite bars, and The Old 616, happens to be one of Charleston’s favorite drinks.

Food was provided by Local 616’s neighbor, spero, which has some pretty amazing food.

Also featured on the menu was The Institute, a cocktail 4 a cause, where a percentage of the proceeds go back to the Upper Peninsula Initiative.

Everyone played a round of life-sized JENGA and Cards Against Urbanity, a sustainable spin on the popular card game Cards Against Humanity. 

Those in attendance were caught up on Upper Peninsula Initiative food and beverage development in the area with a lot of new establishments on our horizon, courtesy of The Sustainability Institute.

Derek Wills, senior project manager at South Carolina Research Authority, was one of the guest speakers of the evening, reminding the attendees of the importance of implementing sustainable practices throughout the Upper Peninsula.

SCRA is a research corporation, collaborating with industry leaders to promote sustainable, high-tech development. MUSC Innovation Center, one of SCRA’s operating facilities, is a revolutionary, state-of-the-art space designed to support medical research on the Peninsula. The facility was renovated in 2013, and earned an “Excellence in Construction” award, due to its spectacular building specifications. Distilled water and sub-zero freezers help make the LEED certified facility a sustainable space for medical professionals to conduct their work.

A survey was also conducted, requesting feedback and potential projects and efforts for the Upper Peninsula Initiative to take on.

The results of the survey as follows:

The Upper Peninsula Initiative is a public-private planning effort managed by the City of Charleston and the backbone organization, The Sustainability Institute.

For more information, please visit CharlestonUp.com or email info@charlestonUP.com.

Photos by Stan Foxworthy Foxworthy Studios.

*UPI is a community centered, neighborhood oriented planning initiative, created with the needs of the areas it serves in mind. The results of any survey conducted do not use empirical methods of data collection, and are not necessarily reflective of the community at large.

By Katherine Richards

Greenspaces

On Tuesday, December 1st, The Sustainability Institute hosted its first Upper Peninsula Initiative outreach event. The planning initiative focuses on sustainable community planning and urban redevelopment on the upper eastern side of the peninsula.

 “Growth is inevitable
and desirable, but destruction of community character is not.. “   Edward T. McMahon, Urban Land Institute

Guests were invited to join The Sustainability Institute at a forum hosted at the Royal American to discuss the theme of greenspaces on the Upper Peninsula.
Royal American is a local bar and concert venue, with an unmissable happy hour deal. Also featured on the menu was The Institute, a cocktail 4 a cause, where a percentage of proceeds go back to the Upper Peninsula Initiative.

Guests were given three stickers — a red, green and yellow. With the stickers, (green being the
most important and red being the least), participants chose a what they felt should be a top priority for green spaces located within the Upper Peninsula. Easily accessible paths for bikers and pedestrians were among the most popular features.

The results of the activity are as follows:

 

 

Julie Hensley presented the Baker
Hospital Park,
 
and gave a brief update on the upcoming project.
The team is turning the former Baker Hospital site into a 57-acre regional park.  With a brilliant location just south of Cosgrove Avenue along the Ashley River, the park is expected to make quite a splash here in Charleston.

Tom Bradford of Lowcountry Lowline also spoke at the gathering. Lowcountry Lowline is a revitalization project, spearheaded by a group of Georgia Tech students. The plan is to transform an old, abandoned railroad into a 6.5 mile linear park, connecting the lower and upper parts of the peninsula.

At the end of the gathering, guests were asked t participate in a brief survey. Our neighbors chose new strategies for the task force to implement. 

 

The Upper Peninsula Initiative is a public-private planning effort managed by the City of Charleston and the backbone organization, The Sustainability Institute.

 

For more information, please visit CharlestonUp.com or email info@charlestonUP.com.

Photos by Stan Foxworthy Foxworthy Studios.

*UPI is a community centered, neighborhood oriented planning initiative, created with the needs of the areas it serves in mind. The results of any survey conducted do not use empirical methods of data collection, and are not necessarily reflective of the community at large.

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Art
Urban Agriculture
Transportation
Innovation Incubators
Greenspaces