My name is Savannah Bennett. I'm from Florida. I go to (and work at) the University of South Florida where I am an MA candidate in Global Sustainability.
What sustainability, energy, and community issues are important to you?
Access to healthy, fresh food is an issue that I am extremely passionate about. Food deserts are a major threat to many communities. The way we currently manufacture the majority of our food is detrimental to the planet.
What exciting projects/research are you working on now?
I am about to start a vegetable garden in my backyard! I have already been successful with herbs in my kitchen, so I have decided to expand to larger crops. Thanks to a family friend, I was gifted some Earthboxes to get started (and since I am renting my home, they are able to be moved and are not damaging the property). I am waiting for fall to plant anything since the Florida summer is too brutal for many crops to survive. I've been spending my time researching what will grow best and how to set up rain barrels and a solar-powered automatic watering system. I also am planning on composting for fertilizer and to reduce my waste.
What are your plans for the next five years?
In the next five years I am planning on finishing my master's degree and getting involved in community farming. I would like to make urban farming accessible to as many people as possible. Having my own urban farm that benefits my community would be amazing. There is a very small amount of CSAs in my area and I would like to change that. I would also like to get more schools involved in community gardening with student-run small farms.
What made you want to apply to SISE?
SISE looked like the perfect program for me. Its intensive and a mix of lectures with hands on learning. I am always looking for new opportunities to explore sustainability and hear from others who share my passion.
What are you most looking forward to doing in Chicago?
I cannot wait to go to the Garfield Park Conservatory and see their 37+ foot tall, blooming agave (it's 50 years old and will only bloom once before dying!).
Do you like Cats? If not, are you willing to learn to like cats?
Yes! I love cats! I have a cat and a dog who are best friends.