Sustainable Sweethearts Recap 2016


Urban Ambassadors celebrated sustainable friendships at the second annual Sustainable Sweethearts at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden last Friday. DJ Wolf Pack from Harding Middle School cranked out some tunes, Fresh Café and Market served up some wheatgrass lemonade and vegan desserts, and a photo booth brought new friends and old friends together. Check out the full album here!



At our FRIEND(raiser) this September we launched the Seed Project Tool, an online platform for planning a sustainability project in Des Moines. For the past few months we have been reviewing some of the great projects people have submitted and discussing how to help build connections for anyone interested in starting a project.

One seed project we collected that is now organizing a team is the Empty Bowls project, which UA Member Ash Bruxvoort introduced to the crowd at Sustainable Sweethearts.

“Iowa is the third most product ag state, yet 1 in 8 people in Iowa are food insecure. That is shocking. Empty Bowls is an opportunity for us to come together as a community of artists, farmers, and eaters, to raise money and awareness for a local hunger organization. Admission to the event is the purchase of a bowl made by a local artist, which the attendee chooses themselves, and we will serve a simple, local, vegetarian meal.

Ash has organized a follow-up meeting for anyone interested in learning more about the project. You can find the Facebook event here or learn more about the developing project at the Seed Project page.


UA is all about making connections with like-minded people and making Des Moines a better place to live. To new connections we had a short networking event where we shared our sustainability challenges and goals. 

We try to foster community all year, not just at our four annual events like Sustainable Sweethearts. At the event we launched two new ways to connect with each other. One is the sustainable directory, which is an online directory where individuals or businesses can submit their information and the expertise they hold in a specific area. Consider this our seed project that we kicked off at Sustainable Sweethearts! We hope you share these links with individuals or businesses who offer value to those interested in sustainability projects.

Another way to connect with fellow UA members and sustainability experts is through our Facebook group. This is a place to let each other know what we’re working on and to make friends. Are you planning a hiking trip? Post an event in the Facebook group and invite others to join you! Looking for volunteers for your community garden or Seed Project? This is a great place to share that information too. 


UA is so thankful for your contribution, large or small. We hope you stay connected to all the things we have going on in 2016. 

Written by: Ash Bruxvoort