In 2013, six DePaul students from the College of Science and Health received a competitive U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) $15,000 grant for a yearlong soil testing project. The students conducted soil tests in vacant lots that belong to the Gary Comer Youth Center, a community hub on the South Side of Chicago that offers college readiness programs and extracurricular activities for local youths, including a Green Teens program that partnered with DePaul in summer 2013. Based on the results of the soil tests, DePaul hopes to work with community members in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood to implement green infrastructure, transforming the vacant lots into viable green spaces.
In April, the P3 team presented their results at the EPA National Sustainable Design Expo in Washington, D.C., where they received an honorable mention for their project. They entered this video in an elevator pitch competition sponsored by the EPA P3 Sustainability Challenge and the USA Science & Engineering Festival.