Revoke Trevecca's Undeserved Environmental Award
This petition had 4,579 supporters
Trevecca's Urban Farm is NOT deserving of any environmental award.
Trevecca is being recognized on June 23 by Gov. Bill Haslam and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) with the “Environmental Education and Outreach – Schools,” award as part of the 2015 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards.
However, Trevecca's "Urban Farm" is anything but environmentally sustainable. Nashville Animal Advocacy has been keeping a close eye on the farm for several months after allegations of animal abuse by someone formerly associated with the farm.
Over the past two years, Trevecca has neglected animals' health and well-being at their "Urban Farm." Note the picture of this goat, caught in an electric fence, her face badly burned as a result. A source told us that the animals were malnourished and sickly, and when a Nashville Animal Advocacy member took a trip to the farm she found that the animals looked dirty and sickly and had no access to food or water. Nashville Animal Advocacy and the anonymous source have been in contact with various animal welfare organizations including Metro Animal Control Center (MACC) who is building a case to seize the remaining live animals.
In addition to the deaths of dozens of animals due to neglect at the farm since 2013, Trevecca allegedly has allowed their agricultural waste and landscaping chemicals to run-off into Browns Creek. Their geneticist, Dr. Nyk Reed, proved that those chemicals cause genetic deformities in zebra fish embryos. But the university administration didn't feel organics kept their lawns lush and green enough.
According to a source who worked closely with the farm, Trevecca did not apply for any sort of permit and would not submit to any inspections, despite allegedly selling illegal and unregulated milk and eggs from the farm animals. Additionally, Jason Adkins, who runs the farm and the university's environmental programs including their camps and their major, does not hold any degrees in or credentials to teach environmentalism or agriculture at a university level, despite being the only full-time university employee dedicated to the hands on environmental and agricultural work. So students in the environmentalism major are being cheated out of expert knowledge and experience.
Furthermore, the "farm" does not even produce adequate food for the campus residents and their neighbors. Trevecca to our knowledge has never offered any produce to their neighborhood (a food desert that could benefit greatly from fresh produce) or done anything to help that would keep food from being trucked in as they claim. According to a source, farm operator Jason Adkins found that the university could buy their produce much cheaper from industrialized farms than he can grow it himself, and because his crops also often fail or have low yields, he will not commit to growing any food for the campus. Most of his farm projects have failed, sources say: All three bee hives collapsed last year, and almost all of his initial 100 laying hens died within the first year.
Surely this farm is not the most deserving of an environmental award from our governor. To grant this award to such a poor example of urban farming not only encourages the type of reckless practices commonplace at Trevecca's urban farm, but also detracts from the significance of an environmental award. We at Nashville Animal Advocacy think it's important to honor people who really do care about the environment, not green washers. Please join us in asking Gov. Haslam to honor those who deserve environmental awards instead of known animal and environmental abusers.
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