Nearly 50 certified Planet Blue Ambassadors (faculty, students, and staff) participated in the first annual Planet Blue Ambassador Appreciation Day on Friday, May 10, 2013 at U-M's Matthaei Botanical Gardens.
The Ambassadors began the afternoon by being introduced to the U-M Campus Farm by leaders from the U-M Sustainable Food Program (UMSFP). While at the Campus Farm, Ambassadors volunteered to help prepare the garden for spring. Ambassadors weeded the plot, mulched, picked winter crops from the greenhouses, and planted the first crop of the season: potatoes.
After the Campus Farm, attendees moved into the Botanical Gardens’ Auditorium for a dinner prepared by University Unions with locally-sourced ingredients, including a corn polenta, potato focaccia, rappini, and a bread pudding with Sander’s white chocolate fudge and Michigan dried cherries. During dinner Keith Soster, food services director for University Unions, and students from UMSFP spoke on sustainable food initiatives at U-M.
The evening ended with a thank you to all the Ambassadors for their efforts in promoting sustainability at U-M and a raffle of several sustainability-themed prizes including fresh produce from the greenhouse, gift cards to a local farmer’s market, and Planet Blue reusable water bottles.
"The enthusiasm and ingenuity of the faculty, staff, and students who volunteered to become certified Planet Blue Ambassadors led to an extremely successful first year," says PBA Coordinator Nicole Berg. "We appreciate all the program input, creative ideas, outreach, and collaboration from the Ambassadors and look forward to working together to continue to create a culture of sustainability here at U-M."
Learn more about the Planet Blue Ambasador program at sustainability.umich.edu/pba.