Continuing our series focusing on the contributions of historically under-recognized groups to conservation and environmental sciences, this month we are featuring newly-elected member of the Duval Soil and Water Conservation District Ashantae Green, whose term representing Group 4 began on January 1, 2021.
Growing up on Jacksonville’s Eastside, Ashantae witnessed firsthand the impacts of environmental inequities, with higher rates of asthma and heat stroke among neighborhood children due to the lack of trees as well as pollution from factories and roads built right through the area, making the community up to 10 degrees warmer than other areas of town. And it’s not just the Eastside – other Jacksonville neighborhoods are also dealing with air pollution, regular flooding and erosion, contaminated soil, and inequitable access to healthy food.
Ashantae has made significant efforts to address these issues over the last several years. She helped create Circle of Caring Jax, a sustainable non-profit dedicated to helping families by providing educational resources and mostly organic food provided by community gardens and rescued from local farms and grocery stores to divert food waste and address food insecurity in communities. She has also worked with students from grades K-12 to teach them about the choices they can make to ensure the future of this planet, and is active in several nonprofit organizations, including the US Green Building Council, the North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce, the ACE Mentor Program of Northeast Florida, and The Garden Club of Jacksonville. As an architectural and digital designer specializing in Green Building, Ashantae was appointed to the Subcommittee on Education, Protection of Local Neighborhoods, and Community Outreach of Jacksonville City Council’s Special Committee on Resiliency, and advises on environmental planning, community protection, and community outreach.
For more than a year, Ashantae has been an active volunteer with the Duval Soil and Water Conservation District, assisting with planning educational programs and serving as a subject matter expert on sustainability and environmental equity issues. Now that she is an elected member of the District, she will work even harder for the people and the planet.
Ashantae, we applaud your passion for environmental justice and your commitment to encouraging everyone in Duval County to live a green lifestyle!