When is a garden more than a garden? When it serves as a community center, safe haven, gathering space and education center that also produces food.  For over 25 years Dunbar Community Gardens has set a high bar on implementing environmental stewardship in all facets of their operations.

The Challenge

Enhance the shared, multi-function environment while beautifying the cargo containers;

Add sound-dampening and insulation to the office space;

Slow down stormwater runoff

Not-for-profit budget

The Solution

Add exuberant colors with added vegetation;

Hanging green “roof” canopy acts to mitigate sound within the office space as well as contribute to the occupant’s thermal comfort;

Green infrastructure acts to treat the water where it falls. The green roof will absorb and slow the water runoff from the containers impervious surfaces;

Rendering can be used to fundraise for future project implementation.

Dunbar Community Gardens 25th Anniversary Celebration "Greening The Roof", Little Rock, Arkansas

Focused on reusing nearly everything they get access to, this zero-waste facility needed to green the roof of their newly acquired shared office space and storage facilities.  GreenStructure, in collaboration with Urban Horticulture Consulting, was commissioned to “vision” the extension of their garden efforts to put plants to work in reducing stormwater runoff, insulate and cool, lend sound attenuation properties, and beautify their community education space.


These images should help Dunbar raise funds to implement this green infrastructure improvement project.

Current Programs:

Clinton Global Initiative Commitment: Transition to Success (TTS) is a program which is a model of care that treats poverty as a treatable condition.  TTS integrates demonstrated best practices of care management, volunteerism, financial literacy and peer mentoring across health care, human services, education faith based and government programs. TTS trains direct care staff to work with clients to define a plan to address immediate basic needs such as food and shelter, along with identifying long-term goals, including employment and financial stability. Joanne is the Environmental Justice lead for the partnership and work along side of United Way Mid South, Memphis, TN; River Star Technology; Melagro Technology; and TTS FOUNDER Dr. Marcella Wilson.

Third New Hope Community Care Network: “Sustainable Community Housing Initiative” in Detroit, Michigan.  Joanne is leading a transitional housing pilot initiative, developing a strategic master plan for Third New Hope’s CCN participants.  The thought process is to alleviate the short term housing concerns for participants of the Community Care Network through affordable, sustainable transitional housing.  Allowing participants to focus on access to proper medical care, food, job placement and training will aid their endeavor to become self-sufficient.  

Bioremediation of Asphalt Roofing: The development of a commercialized process to break down asphalt roofing waste through biological means.  Over 11 million tons of asphalt roofing waste is deposed of in municipal landfills annually.  The EPA recognizes this waste stream as the 4th largest contributor to landfill waste.  GreenStructure is working on a more sustainable solution set for cities and waste remediators, which should result in a usable by-product.

Commercialization of Transition to Success: Leading the grant team, along with Michigan State University Professor Roxanne Chan, on a multi-million dollar innovation grant through NIH.  The goal is to commercialize all aspects of TTS: training, curriculum, telehealth and protocols.  Removing barriers to healthcare and alleviating poverty in minority health populations is a goal of the program.  Expanding the infrastructure to support the effort is an imperative which includes the development of a national database of outcomes related to the treatment of poverty and environmental stressors.

Completed Projects