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Growing Greener Communities through Tennessee Smart Yards


Name: Dr. Andrea Ludwig
Affiliation: University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Date: April 17, 2023 12:59pm - April 27, 2023 2:00pm


Earth Week 2023 Seminar

In the face of dramatic biodiversity loss globally, a changing climate, land use pressures across Tennessee, and inadequate protection policies for natural capitol, the role of voluntary land stewardship practices has never been more important. Tennessee Smart Yards is a university-led education and yard certification program for residents and their private property. Through the program, participants first learn about ecologically-sound landscaping principles, then adopt a tailored set of stewardship practices in their landscape that meets their unique needs and environmental conditions. After a level of stewardship is reached, they report back their actions as they certify their yards as Tennessee Smart Yards, protecting water and natural resources one yard at a time. This presentation will provide both an overview and update on the statewide program and future trajectories for outreach efforts in sustainable landscapes. 

Dr. Andrea Ludwig is an Associate Professor of Ecological Engineering in the Biosystems Engineering & Soil Science Department at the University of Tennessee and has served as the Stormwater Management Specialist for UT Extension since 2010. She is the Program Director for Tennessee Smart Yards and co-leads Backyard STEM curriculum development for Tennessee 4H. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Bio & Ag Engineering and Masters of Science in Environmental Engineering from the University of Arkansas, and a PhD in Biological Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech. She is a Past President of the American Ecological Engineering Society and an elected Board Member of the Universities Council on Water Resources. She is an avid trail runner and mountain biker and a budding naturalist.