Indiana Pacers: Sustainable & Environmental Operations
In December of 2015, the St. Vincent Center broke ground to become the new training facility for the Indiana Pacers and a state-of-the art medical facility for Indianapolis residents and athletes.
Today, the facility provides primary care, cardiovascular, and sports performance services to both the general public and athletes in multiple disciplines.
New use for unused spaces
Located directly across the street from Bankers Life Fieldhouse, in what used to be an employee parking lot, the new facility was designed with an 8,500 square foot flat roof that overlooks downtown Indianapolis.
Without an elevator all the way to the roof, it was quite an experience hauling the soil, gravel, drainage system and plants to the rooftop garden.
But they did it.
2017 has been a year of preparation for the soil and flowers.
The entire 8,500 square feet was planted in native Indiana wild flowers and pathways were built throughout the garden for ease of harvesting the future vegetables.
In the spring of 2018, 3,500 square feet of the garden will be planted in vegetables to evaluate the procedures, soil, drainage and plants.
What to do with the harvested vegetables?
There are many ideas, including:
using the produce in menu items within the Bankers Life Fieldhouse
distributing them to local restaurants and food shelves
offering them to employees
As the garden grows, it will promote efforts throughout Indianapolis and the country, encouraging urban gardening and sustainable initiatives.
More sustainability initiatives
As members of the Green Sports Alliance, their new rooftop garden is far from the only sustainability initiative around Indy. In 2017 alone, the Pacers hosted five Go Green events with Republic Services including a Day of Service, Twitter Contest, and a T-Shirt Toss.
The Pacers also started incorporating sustainability into their donor and team events by creating co-sponsored Bud Light eco-friendly coolers for their annual golf tournament made from the banners that previously hung in Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
And the Pacers donated all the material for the Green Sports Alliance Summit keeping over 3,600 square feet of vinyl material out of the landfill.
I cannot wait to return to the rooftop garden next summer and perhaps even get a taste of all the fresh produce grown right downtown Indianapolis on the roof of the St. Vincent Center.
Just imagine all the other spaces that could be turned into viable, sustainable gardens that provide food and build communities.
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