Junior graphic designers in the Professional Practices course taught by Leslie Jensen-Inman in the Department of Art are teaming up with Leadership Chattanooga, a 10-month leadership development program that identifies people of promise in early- or mid-career, to establish Take Root. This organization’s primary purpose will be planting trees in the downtown area, funded by donations from local businesses and individuals.
Take Root’s goal is not to simply beautify Chattanooga, but also to improve air quality and cool the city’s urban core. Working side by side with eight members from Leadership Chattanooga, the junior graphic design students have taken on the responsibility of creating Take Root’s identity and formulating a design and creative-standards guide for the organization. In addition, the students have designed the logo and produced the brochure, stationery, banners, and posters.
“It is important to provide students with the opportunity to work with real clients and real vendors,” said Jensen-Inman. “The Take Root initiative has given the students a chance to collaborate with local business professionals and in doing so the students have developed relevant workplace skills. It has been exciting to watch the students delve into this project and to grow as designers. The collaboration between the various businesses and organizations supports UTC’s mission of creating new and sustainable professional relationships in the Chattanooga area.”
Take Root’s official launch was Arbor Day, March 7. Take Root hopes to unite the community behind this cause.
“It’s been very exciting to be a part of a project that will leave an eco-friendly impression on the city. The concept of reducing the carbon footprint is the right step towards a new health conscious era in Chattanooga,” says Thomas Rusk, a member of Leadership Chattanooga and the Take Root project.
Mayor Ron Littlefield has also gotten behind Take Root’s efforts. “Chattanooga is a community that has a long history of bringing people together and getting things done. Take Root is the newest example of that community spirit and will be an asset as we continue to move towards a greener city,” Littlefield said.
With several different levels of donation available, starting as low as $20, participation is affordable for everyone.