"Live beyond your comfort zone."
Even though she was not born here, Krista Bailey says “her blood is here,” not just in her distant relatives who are buried in City Cemetery but also in the city that “feels like my city.” Krista realized early in life that “I can change the world. I can make things better” and has spent the majority of her adult life working toward that change by focusing on multiple aspects of sustainability. Krista knew that for her, her interests in “biology, women’s studies, community development, and management” all converged in the nexus of sustainability – finding a way to better exist with nature so that we protect it instead of harming it.
As the Sustainability Coordinator for the city, Krista is working toward creating a better South Bend now and one that will best serve it citizens well into the future. She began her work by going into the community and listening to concerns that citizens had before forming a Green Ribbon Commission that is intentionally diverse and representative of all voices in the city. One of the largest projects Krista has tackled is encouraging the incorporation of more green infrastructure into the city as demonstrated by changes in the sewer system to help manage the 400 million gallons of overflow the city experiences annually. Krista was also instrumental in coordinating the first citywide recycling collection at a public event as part of South Bend’s sesquicentennial birthday weekend. Her efforts resulted in one third of the waste from the event being redirected from landfills to recycling.
For the future, Krista continues to be motivated by planetary awareness and will continue finding new and innovative ways to help the city, even when it means moving beyond her comfort zone.
- Sustainability Coordinator, City of South Bend Office of Sustainability
- Leader, Greenhouse Community Garden
- Board Member, The Unity Gardens
- Board Member, Greening the Bend
- Assistant Director Center, for a Sustainable Future
- Director, Elkhart Envirocorps AmeriCorps program
- Founding Member, Purple Porch Co-op
- Founding Member Greenhouse Community Garden
- Performer Michiana Monologues
Information compiled from oral history collected by The Michiana Women Leaders Project