News & Events

Stormwater Retention at Jackie Joyner-Kersee Food Agriculture Nutrition Center

Author: Amy Funk, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center


Photo credit: Donald Danforth Plant Science Center


The Jackie Joyner-Kersee Food Agriculture Nutrition Innovation Center (JJK FAN) is founded by Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee and is a collaboration with the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation, Lansdowne UP, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. By leveraging the expertise among these four organizations, the JJK-FAN Innovation Center is working to build community capacity to address food access, while shaping experiences for K-12 youth in STEAM, agriculture, nutrition, and wellness. By providing youth and community members with avenues for personal and professional growth, our goal is to ignite economic empowerment and community development in the region starting with creating a 65-acre footprint surrounding the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation in East St. Louis, which will include indoor and outdoor food production, education, and sports facilities. This four phase buildout will include a green roof that supports JJK FAN curriculum, edible buffers as transitions between agriculture, demonstration gardens (including multiple pollinator gardens), athletic programming and community green space. Watershed best management practices such as bioretention plantings to slow and filter runoff from parking lots, streets, and roofs will be integrated throughout the 65 acre facilities.