Indiana State University Newsroom

Talk to raise sustainability awareness in the Wabash Valley

January 8, 2010

Our Green Valley Alliance, a new group seeking to increase awareness about sustainability in the Wabash Valley, is arranging five talks by different speakers. The first presentation is scheduled for Feb. 10.

The alliance - a collaborative effort between Indiana State University, St. Mary-of-the-Woods College, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Ivy Tech State College, the city of Terre Haute and Union Hospital - wants to increase public awareness about sustainability. Sustainability seeks to merge the well-being of the world by encouraging responsible use of natural resources. Sustainable agriculture is about making environmental stewardship profitable for farmers, which then can lead to prosperous farming communities.

"It's about creating food systems that are sustainable," said Jim Speer, ISU associate professor of geography and geology and founding alliance member, about the agriculture component.

At 5 p.m. on Feb. 10 in Indiana State's Holmstedt Hall 103, Pat Martin, chief planner for Terre Haute, will discuss "Sustainable Planning, Design and Redevelopment: Terre Haute's Commitment."

The place of the remaining talks will rotate to each of the schools of higher education and the city.

While the overall goal of the group is to enhance sustainability, such as with food systems, in the Wabash Valley, the group also seeks to better relationships between each of the schools and the city.

"Part of the purpose is to get people on to other campuses," Speer said.

Another aspect of the alliance's mission, in addition to providing a forum for debate on sustaining the environment, is to raise public awareness. It hopes to do so by the talks and serving as a resource center for environmentally sustainable practices, education and activities in the Wabash Valley.

The group's long-term goal is to influence the community to adopt and act upon long-term sustainability goals. In turn, they hope that will improve personal and public health, community vitality, economic development and the environment.

-30-Contact: Jim Speer, associate professor of geography and geology, 812 237-3011, Jim.Speer@

Writer: Jennifer Sicking, assistant director of media relations, at 812-237-7972 or


Story Highlights

At 5 p.m. on Feb. 10 in Indiana State’s Holmstedt Hall 103, Pat Martin, chief planner for Terre Haute, will discuss “Sustainable Planning, Design and Redevelopment: Terre Haute’s Commitment.”

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