A partnership that pilots community-engaged, sustainable projects to address real world challenges in the Southeast neighborhood of South Bend, IN.

Program Areas

Smart Green Infrastructure

The primary focus is restoring impaired natural resources such as Bowman Creek in the urbanized reach through use of smart green technology that challenges STEM talent to deal with real complex open-ended challenges. This will require multidisciplinary teams making project decisions in the face of uncertainties and learning situational awareness, communications, teamwork, judgement, navigating failures, failing forward, and the importance of persistence in achieving transformation.

Sustainable Placemaking

This project challenges students to step back and see the forest for the trees to work beyond silos of technical expertise and lenses of world view to restore a currently blighted neighborhood that has weathered decades of disinvestment and out-migration of most affluent residents. Students will work with residents to identify projects that draw on neighborhood assets and develop spaces for building community.

Data Decision-Making

Big data is not customer-friendly without translation. Students will learn to use data to make smart decisions to build and operate a better watershed, neighborhood, and other building blocks of a City. They will practice the art and science of listening to community pain points, using design thinking to solve these, and figuring out data visualization approaches to keep project stakeholders and citizens apprised of progress toward goals. Metrics will include more than the health of the fish in the creek as we anticipate measures of felt safety, progress on access to better health, access to healthy locally grown food, better housing, jobs training, and living wage opportunities as we build local capacity to solve our city challenges while exporting our ideas and goods and services to other cities facing the same challenges (crisis will be viewed as both challenge and opportunity).

Questions? Contact us!

Bowman Creek

Bowman Creek is a major tributary to the St. Joseph river in South Bend, Indiana. The waterway begins as Auten Ditch, near Locust Rd. and Roosevelt Rd. Auten Ditch follows Locust Rd. north until it crosses Ireland Rd. where it turns northeast and heads towards Chippewa Ave. Once the ditch crosses Chippewa Ave., it passes through the AM General proving grounds and continues to the Green Tech property. The Green Tech pond is where Bowman Creek begins, and continues northeast through the South East neighborhood.

The creek has sections that flow above ground as well as below ground. It flows past ReStore, under Main and Michigan streets, under Riley High School’s track, through Studebaker Golf Course, under Riley High School’s baseball field, past Studebaker School, between houses, along alleys, through Ravina Park, and on to the St. Joseph river.

Program Funding

Below is a list of our funding organizations and grants.

NSF “Finding Your Vocation in STEM” Grant DUE-1161222

Judd Leighton Foundation

Stanley A. & Flora P. Clark Memorial Community Trust Foundation

Wilson Family Foundation

enFocus allocation of Lilly Endowment

City’s Office of Innovation enFocus sponsorship

EmNet, LLC contributions to Arduino workshops and mentoring

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