TCU Sustainability Program


TCU Sustainability Students Give Back


by Chloe Burgoon



“Learning about sustainability in the classroom is good, but applying it in the community is even better,” Keith Whitworth, TCU Sociology Instructor.


Twenty TCU students from Whitworth’s course, Sustainability: Environmental, Economic, and Social Justice Issues, volunteered their Saturday morning to work in an elementary school garden in Grand Prairie on October 27, 2012. The volunteer work was a collaborative project with the U.S. Green Building Council, the Emerging Professionals Association, and Green Schools for the Green Apple Day of Service in North Texas.


The students worked at West Elementary, Arlington ISD in Grand Prairie for over four hours cleaning the school garden beds and spreading mulch. It was a great opportunity for TCU students to get out into the community and participate in a sustainability project. Student, Larissa Matthews said, “It was a lot of hard labor, but when you think about the outcome and knowing you are doing something good for the community, that is a good feeling.”



The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) administers the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification process of green buildings. The USGBC established The Center for Green Schools, which works to create green schools around the country. West Elementary is one of sixteen projects in North Texas to be a part of the First Annual Green Apple Day of Service. The student volunteers experienced first hand how sustainability is being applied by a national organization to better the lives of children at an elementary school. Although the work was hard, the general feedback from TCU students was the reward of helping the children, the school, and the community. It made the challenge completely worth it.