October 11, 2019
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This hospital feeds patients with produce from its rooftop farm

Here are three stories about going green to inspire you as you head into the weekend.

Produce from Boston Medical Center's Rooftop Farm helps employees, patients, and their families eat more healthy. Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Each week, The Renewal Project shares three stories from around the country that highlight the innovative solutions people are creating in their communities. This week we’re featuring three “green” changes that are helping communities grow. What are the innovative ideas in your hometown? Tell us at info@therenewalproject.com.

Up on the roof: A medical center in Massachusetts is taking a more holistic approach to its patients’ health. Boston Medical Center turned its rooftop into a green space to encourage healthy eating. In 2016, the hospital opened its 2,658-square-foot rooftop, using it to feed thousands of patients with fresh produce. The rooftop farm has over 25 different kinds of crops as well as two beehives that provide honey. The medical center has produced over 6,000 pounds of fresh food each year, with almost half of it going home directly with the patients and the remainder used in the cafeteria. The hospital has also started hosting free classes for employees, patients, and their families to learn how to cook healthy meals.


Happy Valley goals: Penn State University is known for its massive campus, spanning nearly 8,000 acres in State College, Pennsylvania. This immense size comes with a large population. The university has about 14,000 people who live on campus, and in total about 65,000 people work or take classes there every day. This mean high energy costs. That’s why the university is planning big changes to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Penn State has promised an 80 percent cut in emissions by 2050, and the data already shows it’s on the right path. Most recently, the school signed a deal to buy its electricity from a new solar farm. The move is projected to bring down its emissions by almost 50 percent.


California greenin’: Research shows that trees are not only a way to improve air and water quality, but they also help reduce stress in the people around them. The city of Los Angeles is making moves to reap these benefits. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced in April that the city will be planting 90,000 trees by the end of 2021. In August, Garcetti announced Rachel Malarich would take on the new position of Forest Officer for the city. Malarich told City Lab she feels confident that by collaborating with local nonprofits they will achieve the goal. In addition to tree planting, Garcetti announced other changes to make L.A. more environmentally-friendly. He called for a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 and mandated that all new city-owned buildings will be entirely electric.

Danielle Moskowitz

Danielle Moskowitz

Dani Moskowitz is a contributor to The Renewal Project.