Permaculture class shows students the way to sustainability - 2009-08-27
Paul Smith’s College students to develop gardens, learn ecological design during class
CONTACT: Tom Huber, (518) 327-6330, firstname.lastname@example.org
PAUL SMITHS – A two-week course at Paul Smith’s College aims to teach students how to make a mark in their communities – without making any mark at all.
The Permaculture Design Course, which begins Monday, will teach students the fundamentals of providing food, water, energy and shelter for themselves and their communities without pollution or wasting resources. About 20 people are enrolled.
Students will learn the fundamentals and ethics behind permaculture in the first week, studying how it can be applied not just in individual households but used in designing farms, villages, towns and cities as well. In the second week, students will tackle several hands-on projects, such as building gardens and developing a composting system.
“Since most of our environmental problems relate to unskillful design, permaculture focuses on designing with ecosystems in mind,” said Tom Huber, director of TRiO-Student Support Services and a member of the college’s Sustainability Council. “It provides an integrated model for transitioning to a sustainable future.”
Peter Bane and Keith Johnson, experts in the subject who have led dozens of classes on the topic, will teach the course. The curriculum covers such topics as home design, soil fertility, landscape, recycling, pest management, aquaculture, and much more.
The term “permaculture” was coined in the 1970s. It is a combination of the phrases “permanent agriculture” and “permanent culture.” Since then, the movement has taken root internationally. As communities across the planet try to curb their impacts on the environment and overcome dwindling resources, many view permaculture as an effective way to achieve better harmony with their surroundings.
“Sustainability is a key element of many courses at Paul Smith’s College,” Huber said. “And we’re adopting permaculture principles in developing our campus sustainability and climate action plan for reaching carbon neutrality as a college.”
ABOUT PAUL SMITH'S COLLEGE
At Paul Smith’s College, it’s about the experience. We are the only four-year institution of higher education in the Adirondacks. Our programs, in fields including hospitality, culinary arts, forestry, natural resources, entrepreneurship and the sciences, draw on industries and resources available in our own backyard while preparing students for successful careers anywhere.