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THE I N S T IT U T E F O R E N V IRO N M E N T AL AWARENESS

Vision for the Future Strategic Planning for

the Sustainability of Earthlands and the University of the Wild S P R I N G 2007

“The solutions to the present ecological and social crises must be radical and profound...” –Larry Buell, founder of Earthlands


About Earthlands For more than thirty years, Earthlands has been a destination for people who desire a reconnection to the earth, food for the spirit, and joyful community. The Program Center, which provides programs and services for educational, environmental, and personal growth opportunities, resides on over 200 wooded acres in rural Petersham, Massachusetts. “The Lodge� at Earthlands.


A Vision of the Future, 2010 The journey

to Earthlands may be a long one, as it is far from the fast pace of everyday concerns. Upon arriving, many transcend the outside world. A welcoming

path

well-integrated in the landscape, and grouped near a greenhouse. From the lodge building, or perhaps from somewhere in the field, the music of laughing, singing, and

leads through the forest, mingling

chanting mingles with bird song and

with spirits of the native Nipmuc

the rustling of wind through trees

people, and early European settlers. As

and meadow. Animals in the barnyard

the wood opens up into a vast clearing,

turn their faces toward the path, while

a medicine circle silently represents

various arrangements of crop plants

many past spiritual rituals at the south

create a rich and textured geometry.

end of the field, while at the north end

This is a lively place, suffused with

lies the jewel in the setting, the warm and homey Lodge building. In the distance, some

eccentric and

surprising structures appear through the trees—various yurts and cabins with solar panels, all

creative and visionary energy, and inspired by surrounding land of diverse

beauty

and

habitat.

There is much to learn here in this place, and much to

discover

one’s self.

within


Contents SECTION 1:

COMMUNITY OF EARTHLANDS

History/Recent Developments Vision and Mission Statements Summary SECTION 2:

12 14 16

18 20 22

INTEGRATION

Conservative Development Development as Curriculum Flexible Space Build a Solid Foundation

CONTEXT: BIO-REGIONAL

Inventory and Analysis Summary Trails & Transportation Watershed Conservation Land/Open Space Priority Habitat Farms & CSAs SECTION 7:

25 26 27 28

SECTION 8:

42

COMMUNITY/ PARTNERSHIPS

Community and Friends Potential Cultural Partners SECTION 9:

30 32 34 36 38 40

CONTEXT: TOWN

Petersham

RESIDENTIAL COMMUNITY

Overview Precedents Possible Scenarios SECTION 5:

6 8 10

UNIVERSITY OF THE WILD

Overview Precedents Possible Scenarios SECTION 4:

2 4 5

PROGRAM CENTER

Overview Precedents Possible Scenarios SECTION 3:

SECTION 6:

44 46

SITE SUITABILITY

Summary of 1997 CSLD student work Water & Waste Management Ecological Footprint Agriculture

52 54 56 57

SECTION 10:

CASE STUDY: AGAPE COMMUNITY

58

SECTION 11:

REFERENCES

60

SECTION 12:

WHO’S WHO AT EARTHLANDS

61

SECTION 13:

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

62


History and Recent Developments

In 1973, The Institute for

In 1993, the “Earthlands Intentional

Environmental Awareness, a

Community and Program Center”

In 2006, L

501(c)(3) non-profit educational

is created with sixteen founding

acres of lan

corporation is founded.

members at the Earthlands site.

permanent

In 1991, Earthlands and IEA

In 1997, a student team at the

In 2003, the community puts

In 200

founder Larry Buell authors

Conway School of Landscape

together a long-range strategic

increa

“Ten Personal and Community

Design develops a Land Use

plan, with the goal: “to empower

capaci

Principles of Earthlands” at

and Master Plan which includes

individuals and groups to become

reach,

Lake Baikal in Siberia, Russia.

site surveys and analyses,

ecological global citizens who

ecolog

Principles include Live in

and recommendations for

possess an ecocentric worldview.”

Community, Environmental Action,

implementation of sustainable

The plan includes a demonstration

and Spiritual Practice.

residential buildings and

site at Earthlands for sustainable

agricultural spaces.

technologies such as solar power, alternative transportation, and permaculture.

“Listening to the Heart, acting for the Earth” –Earthlands promotional brochure

2


“So many people have life-changing experiences here in this place.” – Pam McDonald, Earthlands Member

Expanded Program Center

In 2006, Larry Buell places 75 acres of land at Earthlands in permanent conservation.

Design to create a strategic s

In 2007, the IEA decides to

gic

increase its programming

wer

capacity, extend its educational

come

reach, and set an example of

o

ecologically sustainable living.

planning document to inform the

Environmental Awareness is set to acquire the Earthlands

In 2007, the IEA engages the Conway School of Landscape

Today, the Institute for

University of the Wild

development of three projects:

lodge, as well as outbuildings and selected acreage, from the North Quabbin Farm and Larry Buell, owner and originator, and oversee the

Residential Community

management of the three projects.

view.” ration nable ower, nd

3


To guide the implementation of the three projects and all future endeavors,

the IEA is revising its Mission and Vision Statements. Until the revisions are complete, the IEA will use the current statements:

Vision Statement(draft) The vision of The Institute for Environmental Awareness is the renewal of human consciousness and the interrelatedness of all life. Inspired and informed by Earth’s living natural systems we become responsible stewards of our communities, cultures, and our relationship to the living earth. In deepening our awareness and stewardship we bring about a

Ancient Knowledge Earth Wisdom

vibrant relationship of sacred harmony with the interconnectedness of the place we inhabit.

Mission Statement(existing) The mission of the Institute for Environmental Awareness is to promote and support living and learning in harmony with the Earth and all Life.

4

New Technologies Solutions for the 21st Century


Summary “The land will speak to us and lead us to the right and perfect solution.”

IEA

–Bill Grover

An understanding of the regional and local context of the Earthlands site should inform the solutions to the problem of how each project will be designed, integrated, and developed, wholly or partially, on the

Program Center

Residential Community

site. A series of maps illustrates Earthlands’ rural location, its proximity to large blocks of conserved land, and its location within the Chicopee watershed, which drains into the Quabbin Reservoir.

ntury

Understanding the cultural context of Earthlands is also important, as the IEA will be developing partnerships within a network of regional organizations for the benefit of the three projects. Many of them are listed in the Potential Partners section. A set of objectives introduce each of the three projects, followed by examples of successful similar

The expansion of the

University of the Wild

An Earthlands Community

Program Center will

Land Trust will be created

improve facilities and

to model the holding of land

accommodate more

The University of the Wild

in conservation, and an

groups and guests.

will be an alternative two-

intentional ecological housing

year program designed as

development will be built to

a mentored, self-directed,

model a sustainable residential

higher education institution.

community.

organizations, then several possible configurations, or scenarios, as if each existed alone. Several scenarios are then explored, considering phasing and priorities, for cohesively integrating the development of the projects.

5


Program Center

The first of the three projects is the Program Center. It is through life-changing experiences in the programs that many people are drawn to the larger community at Earthlands.

The Earthlands Program Center conducts on-going public educational, environmental, and personal growth programs and services based at its program center, which itself embodies the principles of sustainability.

Programmatic Details

Examples of recent programs

Expanded facilities will accommodate

include Alisa Starkweather’s

separate groups, and a total of 50

women’s programs, Daughters of the Earth and Priestess Path; Sparrow Hart’s Mythic Warriors

overnight guests and staff. As many as 150 people may use the Program Center for day-long programs, or programs that include primitive camping. Programs may take place for

men’s program; Cathy Pedevillano

any length of time, and at any time of

and Bill Pfeiffer’s Shamanic-

the week or year.

based retreats and trainings; and Dave Jacke and Jono Neiger’s permaculture classes.

6

Lucinda Ramsey and Frank Deitle, Program Center Coordinators


Excerpt of Program Center Objectives 1

To provide a program center which supports self and environmental consciousness;

2

To be the best model of sustainable agriculture and appropriate energy technologies and methods;

3

To provide a physical site for living and learning in harmony with the earth and all life.

“We want to be able to host events and programming that represents the newest and oldest knowledge out there.� -Lucinda Ramsey, Program Center Coordinator

7


Program Center

Precedents PRECEDENT 1 Esalen Institute at Big Sur, California, is a communal retreat center offering more than 500 public workshops and seminars a year to assist personal growth and social change. A non-profit educational foundation, Esalen also has a research component for alternative practices, and residential work-study programs and internships.

Esalen Institute is a complex of many buildings, including the “Art Barn” (top) and the “Lodge” (bottom).

8


PRECEDENT 2 The Unitarian Universalist Rowe Conference Center in Rowe, Massachusetts, offers spiritual and educational programs, camps, conferences, and personal retreats with noted guests throughout the year. Two weekend programs often take place simultaneously. A wide variety of overnight accommodations are available for guests, ranging from dorm-style cabins without plumbing to a traditional full-service farm house. A centrally located, heated bathhouse serves the cabins.

Rowe Retreat and Conference Center’s heated bath house (above) and interior gathering space (right).

9


Program Center

Possible Scenarios SCENARIO 1 The existing Lodge, which has served as the Program Center for almost two decades, could be enlarged and retrofitted as a “green” building to accommodate several groups and necessary facilities. The existing Lodge building is very dear to many people who have been moved and inspired while attending Program Center activities over the years; many feel a deep affinity for the place. The location is private, and the view of the fields is important to many. However, if several groups were to share an enlarged Lodge building, they would require distinct boundaries to avoid conflict. In 2004, the "Lodge" at Black Rock Forest, in Cornwall, NY, was built to allow for extended stays by students and scientists. The Lodge sleep up to 48 people in 10 bedrooms, and has a large central public room that can hold 140 people. The ten bedrooms are divided evenly into two wings with two bathrooms in each. The Lodge includes a Clivus system—ten composting toilets and four large-capacity composters. The Lodge shares its geothermal heat pump system with the Black Rock Forest Center for Science and Education.

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SCENARIO 2 A new “green” building, or grouping of buildings, could be constructed at Earthlands in a location that allows for access by large numbers of people, with gardens and outdoor sacred spaces. Earthwood Building School, West Chazy, New York is a

Interested Program Center attendees and staff

round, two-story, off-the-grid, cordwood masonry earth

members could assist in the design of a new

shelter with a 38’8” outside diameter and over 2,000

building, creating something ideal for their needs.

square feet of living space. This building and surrounding

Finding a new location should consider the most

outbuildings are all heated with less than three and a half

private and accessible place in relation to other

cords of wood per year.

activities at Earthlands.

One building for more than one group.

A grouping of buildings

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University of the Wild

The second project the IEA is

Programmatic Details

developing is the University of

Beginning with twelve to twenty students and perhaps increasing to fifty in the

the Wild—a two-year program designed as a mentored, selfdirected, higher education institution to meet the needs

future, the University of the Wild will have two to six full-time resident instructors and six to ten part-time instructors. They are likely to need a classroom, individual study areas, a library, kitchen, restrooms, and internet access. The Institute of Environmental Awareness plans to welcome the first class of the University of the Wild in the Fall of 2007.

of the twenty-first century. The curriculum will be based on the best of current educational models

Excerpt of University of the Wild Objectives 1

Participate in mentored, self-directed and group activities and experiences to increase ecological understanding and social justice insights.

2

Live and learn a range of ecological values, content, and methods necessary to obtain Global Ecological Citizenry status.

3

Participate in a self-directed “Planet Walk-About” to gain an authentic sense of a unique global bioregion.

and environmental research. The University of the Wild is an alternative higher education degree curriculum and learning community that fosters the “Global Ecological Citizenry” —at the heart of social transformation.

12


Curriculum Schematic Students Students

U of W Curriculum On Site

U of W On Site

Year Two Spring Semester

Year One Fall Semester Year One Spring Semester

Personal and Planetary Integration & Action

Planet "Walk-About" Module 6

Module 8 Personal and Planetary

Selected Global Bioregion designed to experience “Sense of

Integration & Action

Residency Learning Pre-Residency Module 1

Community at Earthlands Module 3

The Self and the Universe Module 2

Ecological Living & the Learning Community

The Self As a Learner

Module 4 Personal and Ecological

(1 & 2 Completed before coming to residency)

Place� and applied Deep Ecology

Reflection, Integration Council, and Action Plan

Self-Development Module 5 Global Ecological Citizenry Skills & Abilities

Year Two Fall Semester Earth Service & Outreach Module 7 International site for work-study and service

13


University of the Wild

Precedents PRECEDENT 1 The John T. Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona is a demonstration and research facility with residential, agricultural, and educational components. The mission is to advance the study of regenerative and sustainable practices.

Center for Regenerative Studies, CA State Polytechnic University

14


PRECEDENT 2 The School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont, has a mission to "prepare students to be interculturally effective leaders, professionals, and citizens. In so doing, SIT fosters a worldwide network of individuals and organizations committed to responsible global citizenship." To fulfill this mission, SIT manages field-based academic study abroad programs for undergraduates, and degree and certificate programs for graduates and professionals. In the program in Intercultural Management, students work all around the world on issues of sustainability and social justice. Over 25,000 students to date have participated in the Study Abroad programs. SIT is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and

School for International Training

Colleges, Inc.

15


University of the Wild

Possible Scenarios What will the University look like? Should it have its own new building, or perhaps occupy the lodge building? SCENARIO 1 The University could share the lodge building with the Program Center, or occupy a new “green� building at Earthlands. A new building designed specifically for the University and incorporating green technologies could be ideal for its specific needs, and would support the curriculum as a model of sustainability. It would, however, require time and expense to construct, and the numbers of students and specific programmatic needs may also change over time, which could result in its obsolescence. If students need access to the internet, it may be complicated to arrange on the Earthlands site, which is off the grid, and students may also be somewhat isolated from amenities and resources.

16


SCENARIO 2 The University could be located in an available building in a nearby town, such as Athol, Massachusetts, which could be retrofitted as a “green� classroom and dormitory. This scenario may result in less impact to the Earthlands site, while providing access to more cultural, educational, and social resources, and contributing to the economy of a town. However, there may be issues about clean-up of toxic materials, and code issues in an older building, and this option would require transportation to Earthlands for programs and activities that will take place there. Students would also not be submersed in the Earthlands experience.

Athol, Massachusetts

17


Residential Community The third project is a residential

Programmatic Details

community. In order to attract

Twelve to fifty students and two to six instructors will require housing while they

and retain talented, smart, and dedicated people to Earthlands, this housing should be attractive

attend/teach at the University of the Wild, unless the University is based at the Lodge, which currently has overnight facilities. If a new Program Center building is constructed, accommodations will be required for overnight program participants. The number of people required for supportive staff on-site is undetermined at this time, but many of them will also require housing.

and comfortable, as well as ecologically sustainable.

18

The residential community will incorporate state-of-the-art green technologies, organic farming, and community space.


Excerpt of Residential Community Objectives 1

To offer to the public “State of the Art� ecological land-use and sustainable community development in the form of the eco-village model for education and research.

2

To support and encourage community living.

3

To require long-term sustainability and productivity of the land based upon ecological principles and practices.

Whiskey Barrel Houses at Findhorn, Scotland

19


Residential Community

Precedents PRECEDENT 1 The Fields Neighborhood ecopark in East Troy, Wisconsin, consists of clustered condominiums with common community gardens and a day-care and community center.

Condominiums at Fields Neighborhood

PRECEDENT 2 The ecovillage at Findhorn in Scotland has 55 ecologically-benign buildings, a CSA farm system, and a Living Machine biological sewage treatment plant.

Ecovillage at Findhorn

20


PRECEDENT 3 The Warren Wilson College ecodorm in Asheville, North Carolina, features energy-efficient design and sustainable resource use. It houses thirty-six students.

Warren Wilson College Ecodorm

21


Residential Community

Possible Scenarios What form will the residences take? How can individual space be provided, while decreasing the footprint as much as possible? How will the community be structured?

SCENARIO 1 Instructors and support staff have their own houses and yards, while sharing a common house and garden. Students live in temporary buildings they construct themselves on the site, sharing a common building with showers, toilets, and kitchen. While this may be preferable for many people, the potentially wide dispersal of buildings requires a relatively large footprint.

22

Yurts can provide housing year-round.


SCENARIO 2 A community house and gardens are the center of life in a mixed-use housing village. Students live in an ecodorm, and instructors and support staff in detached houses and condominiums. Mixed housing within the residential community provides flexibility in terms of cost and lifestyle, and the dorm and condominium may have a smaller footprint than many detached buildings.

Trudeslund Community, Denmark

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Integration People at Earthlands will need separation and connection.

Some Program Center groups may want to be completely left alone, and other groups will welcome students. Active agriculture may need to be kept at a distance. People in the residential community will want some measure of peace and quiet. University students will need a place of their own to focus, study, and work together. Sometimes several activities will be sharing the woods, or the fields, and each will need space. Distance,

University of the Wild

Program Center

forest, and thoughtful site planning may help to buffer groups from each other, while a clear set of pathways may help to connect them. Signs, communication, and negotiation will be necessary if all three projects are implemented at Earthlands.

Residential Community Each group of people will require separation and connection.

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Conservative Development Integration 1

Y E A R

Y E A R

2

1

The common house of the residential community is built to temporarily house students, instructors and support staff.

The new Program Center or University building is constructed

Students use the Lodge during the week; Program Center attendees on the weekend

The first residential housing is built

3

Y E A R

e will require ction.

25


Development as Curriculum Integration 2

Preliminary housing is built for support staff, students, and instructors

Students help design a new Program Center or University building as a class project

Students help build residential housing as a class project

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Students help construct the new building as a class project

Students help design residential housing as a class project


Flexible Spaces Integration 3

University of the Wild

One of the principles of

Program Center

sustainability is “flexible space.� If the Lodge were enlarged, the university and the program center could share it permanently. If there is a time when no students are on site, student housing

Student Housing

could be used by program center groups. These arrangements would require meticulous scheduling.

Guest Housing 27


Build a Solid Foundation Integration 3

As resources become available,

$ Buy the land

Program Center

each new component strengthens, and does not compromise, the resources and attention of what has come before. This way, the projects of the IEA are developed organically, and on a solid foundation.

$ Build staff housing

28

U of W couses offered through the Program Center

$ New green buildings


Clockwise from upper left: kids at the annual Earthstory event, building a sweat lodge, group gathered for an outdoor program.

29


Earthlands Regional Location

2 Orange

Greenfield 2

Athol

Erving

Gardner

32

2 101

122 Conway Deerfield

EARTHLANDS

Petersham

Fitchburg

E AST

STR

EE

Leominster

2

T

63 Shutesbury Barre

9

91

Amherst

Quabbin Reservoir

290 Rutland

Hardwick

9

Northampton

495 9

North Brookfied

Worcester

9

131

Holyoke Auburn

90

Springfield 30

Sturbridge

Miles 0

2.5

5

7. 5

10


Context: Bio-Regional Inventory & Analysis Earthlands is intrinsically woven

How will expanding facilities affect water

1800s. Woodsmen and farmers radically

into the fabric of the bio-region.

downstream? How can University of the

altered the landscape, clearing trees,

Wild students benefit from a very rural

pasturing sheep, building homes and

location? Where is Petersham and how

miles of stone walls. Since that time, the

can a person get there? What makes the

demise of wool mills in the area and the

area around Earthlands special?

creation of the Quabbin Reservoir in the

This is the landscape that defines Earthlands' place in the world. Understanding the bio-regional

1930s again changed the character of the

context can help the IEA make

Petersham is located in west-central

landscape. Relics of the North Quabbin

decisions when developing a

Massachusetts, approximately one and

Region’s past are evident in abandoned

a half hours west of Boston and 45

stone foundations and walls throughout

minutes east of Greenfield.

the mature mixed hard- and soft-wood

plan for Earthlands’ future.

forests and in the historic buildings of

It answers questions about Earthlands’ relationship with its surroundings.

95

Dominated by the majestic Quabbin

small New England towns.

Reservoir, the area is known as the North Quabbin Region. It is somewhat isolated

Complex and rich with habitat for both

from heavily populated areas and rural in

plants and animals, the region is a vital

character with rolling hills of woodlands,

link in supporting an even larger land-

wetlands, small towns and patches of

scape ecology.

agriculture. Travelling to Earthlands is the first step The region was inhabited by the Nipmuck

to appreciating the unique character of

Indians for thousands of years before

the region.

European settled here in the 1700s and

es

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Trails & Transportation

na

dn oc k

2

e t-

Mo

GARDNER

EARTHLANDS

R ive r V

a l le

PETERSHAM

yR

Legend

T ra il

Midstate Mass Central

RAIL TRAILS

Quabbin Reservoir

202

North Central Pathway

BARRE

Ware River Valley Rail Trail Major Roads AMHERST

ROAD

nt ra as s

nt

r l BELCHERTOWN

32

Ce

9

a

WARE

M

10

rd

w

HOLDEN OAKHAM

s ta te

7. 5

o et

Ha

RUTLAND

k ic

Mid

5

e sC M as

Miles 2.5

l/ W

ar

Roads

0

HUBBARDSTON

ai l

Metacomet-Monadnock

LONG TRAILS

W a re

Metaco m

TEMPLETON PHILLIPSTON


Trails & Transportation The location of Earthlands makes it a destination. Earthlands’ remote location

Roads

provides an ideal respite from the

Route 2 connects Petersham to I-91

frenetic pace of modern culture and urban life for its residents and Program Center participants.

Alternative Transportation Options

to the west and Boston to the east. This is the only major roadway serving

BIO-DIESEL VAN

Petersham.

Thinking about future transportation issues and sustainable transportation

Public Transportation

options, Earthlands should consider a

However, the distance from

Getting to and from Earthlands in

vehicle for connecting residents with

amenities compels people to rely

Petersham via public transportation is

public transportation services, as well as

not presently possible. Public bus access

transporting people for off-site field trips.

on gas-powered vehicles.

is available along Route 2 through the FRTA and MRTA service called “LINK.”

RAIL-TRAILS

The service connects Greenfield and

The Ware River Rail-Trail, 2.5 miles

Gardner with points in between.

east from Earthlands, can provide connections by bicycle to other

DEN

Commuter rail service is available to

communities in the region. The Mass-

Greater Boston from Fitchburg, and

Central Rail-Trail, approximately eight

interstate train and bus service is

miles south of Earthlands, links to

accessible from Amherst. Both Fitchburg

additional public transit options.

and Amherst are a 40-minute drive from Petersham.

WALKING TRAILS

Possibilities exist for developing walking trails in Petersham through current and future open space, which could connect

te

the Earthlands site with Petersham’s village center (2.5 miles) and other open space destinations.

33


Watershed

Moccasin Brook EARTHLANDS

East Branch of the Swift River

Quabbin Reservoir Legend Streams, Brooks, Rivers, Lakes Major Roads Chicopee Watershed Boundary Miles 0

34

1

2

3

4


Watershed Water on the Earthlands site flows to the Quabbin Reservoir. The Earthlands site sits northwest of the

Management of water on the Earthlands

Moccasin Brook, which runs into the

site will affect the watershed and the

East Branch of the Swift River, which

Quabbin Reservoir.

in turn flows southwest to the Quabbin Reservoir. The Reservoir is the primary

The presence of the Quabbin Reservoir

water supply for the City of Boston. The

has affected the region in many ways.

Earthlands site lies just north of the

The Quabbin is an immense physical

center of the Chicopee watershed, which

barrier between Petersham and the

is the largest of the 27 major drainage

region’s more populated and culturally

basins in Massachusetts.

active towns to the west. This emphasizes the feeling at Earthlands of peaceful

Environmental standards are enforced

respite far away from busy, densely

by the U.S. Environmental Protection

populated places.

Agency, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and others

The need to protect the Quabbin water supply has heavily influenced land conservation within the Chicopee Watershed area. Sixty-thousand acres of land associated with the reservoir are conserved by the state.

35


Conservation Land

EARTHLANDS

Legend Major Roads

Quabbin Reservoir

Roads Conserved Areas Phillipston Wildlife Management Area

0

36

0.5

1

1.5

2

Miles 2.5


Conservation Land/Open Space Earthlands ties into a landscape rich with conserved forestland. The North Quabbin Region, distin-

Audubon, Miller’s River Environmental

is an asset to Earthlands' future plans.

guished by its unique rural character

Center, Mount Grace Land Conservation

Preserved areas in the Swift River Valley

of mixed hardwood forests, lies at the

Trust, Harvard Forest, and others have

surrounding Earthlands offer diverse

southernmost portion of the north-south

conserved a substantial amount of land

opportunities for outdoor learning

Quabbin-to-Cardigan Corridor (Q2C).

in the North Quabbin Region.

including Native American culture, land-

Over 100 miles long, the Q2C is one of

use history, forestry, and agriculture.

the largest remaining tracts of contig-

Within Petersham, numerous organiza-

uous forest in central New England.

tions and individuals have successfully

The Earthlands property forms a critical

protected in perpetuity over 40% of the

link between the 3,300-acre Phillipston

The unusually high amount of conserva-

town’s open space, with a commitment

Wildlife Management Area, managed by

tion land in the region can be attributed

to place more land in Petersham into

the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries

to water quality protection, government

conservation in the future. One of the

and Wildlife, and a corridor of conserva-

resource conservation, and the conser-

Petersham Master Plan’s stated goals is to:

tion land along the East Branch of the

vation efforts of individuals and non-

“Protect a significant portion of

Swift River connecting to the conserved

profit organizations. The North Quabbin

Petersham’s remaining unprotected

open space adjacent to the Quabbin

Regional Landscape Partnership has

open space in order to preserve the

Reservoir. Since the creation of Earth-

been working since 1997, attracting

Town’s rural character, protect its

lands, 175 acres of the original land has

grant funding for conservation projects

natural resources, and minimize

been placed in conservation. The final

between the Quabbin Reservoir and the

development in inappropriate areas.”

parcel was preserved in 2006.

New Hampshire border. Its objective,

Not only are the natural resources and

like that of the Quabbin-to-Cardigan

rural character being conserved, but the

Corridor, is conservation at a regional

cultural history rooted in the landscape

landscape-scale. Organizations like the

of the region is being preserved as well.

Trustees of Reservations, Massachusetts

The integrity of Petersham’s landscape

37


Priority Habitat

* * * * * ** * *** * ** **

*

*

*

** *** ** ** * * * ***** * * * ** * * * * * * * * *** ** * ** **** * * * EARTHLANDS * * ** **** ** *** ** * * * * * * * * * **** * *** * * *** * ***** *** ** * * ** **** * *** * * * * * * *** ** ** * * ** * * ***** * **** * * * * * * **

* *

* *

*

Legend Streams,Brooks,Rivers,Lakes

*

NHESP Estimated Habitats of Rare Wildlife NHESP Certified Vernal Pools

Quabbin Reservoir

Earthlands Major Roads Roads

0

38

1

2

*** * 3

Miles 4

*

* ** *

* *

* *

* *

* **


Priority Habitat Earthlands provides opportunities to study and live in harmony with nature.

* ** * *** ***** * ** * * * ** * ** * **

Earthlands

caddisflies. Wetlands along the East

Spruce-fir boreal swamps in Petersham

A seventy-five-acre wooded parcel along

Branch of the Swift River, which flows to

support a high diversity of species,

the Moccasin Brook represents the first

the Quabbin Reservoir, provide habitat

well-buffered by extensive forests, and

property protected in perpetuity under

for American bitterns. The Quabbin is

the unfragmented landscape of Harvard

the Quabbin Corridor Forest Legacy

the largest and deepest water body in

Forest and Petersham State Forest

Project, with the Mount Grace Land

Massachusetts and supports fish and

supports diverse and rare species of

Conservation Trust. In conservation with

aquatic insects uncommon in the state.

moths, butterflies, dragonflies, and

Massachusetts Department of Fish and

The Quabbin area hosts the highest

damselflies, as well as bog vegetation.

Game, it expands the Phillipston Wildlife

density of breeding common loons and

Management Area.

bald eagles in southern New England. Petersham also represents one of the

Petersham

largest undeveloped areas of habitat in

Roughly half the land in Petersham, or

central Massachusetts for a variety of

about 18,500 acres, is in conservation.

forest birds. Continued conservation

Numerous wetlands are dispersed

efforts would do well to expand and connect

throughout the area, supporting rare

these large blocks of conserved land.

Source: Guiding Land Conservation for Biodiversity in Massachusetts, 2001, produced by Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, and Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

dragonfly and damselfly species.

* **

Wood, spotted, and Eastern box turtle,

According to Lynn Harper with the Massachusetts

four-toed, spring, and blue-spotted

Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program,

salamander, water shrew, and Southern

intentionally retaining wooded corridors along the

bog lemming populations occur in

streams at Earthlands will represent the best plan for

riparian habitats, as do rare mussels

supporting rare species in the area. This habitat is

and sensitive aquatic insects such as

required for rare species such as the harpoon clubtail dragonfly, which is endangered in Massachusetts, the wood turtle, and the American bittern, the last of which often benefit from habitat created by by beaver dams.

American Bittern

39


Farms & CSAs

ERVING ORANGE ATHOL

6

7

GARDNER

WENDELL TEMPLETON PHILLIPSTON NEW SALEM

EARTHLANDS SHUTESBURY

PETERSHAM

HUBBARDSTON

3 BARRE

4 PELHAM

Quabbin Reservoir

Legend

HARDWICK

Farm/CSA location Miles 0

40

2.5

5

5 New England Small Farms Institute

WARE

21


Farms & CSAs Within ten miles of Earthlands, local produce flourishes.

1

Barre Farmers Market

Misty Brook Farm

A CSA (community supported

Barre Common

3689 Greenwich Road

agriculture) is a farm where members

Barre, MA

Hardwick, MA

buy shares of the season’s produce in

Saturdays/Seasonal

Organic vegetables, milk,

advance and receive weekly produce.

5

eggs, and meat 2

Caledonia Farm CSA

To supplement food grown on site at Old Page Farm

Earthland, farms in the Petersham area

Barre, MA

307 Kelton Street

are significant local food sources and

Organic vegetables, pasture

Gardner, MA

potential partners in establishing a

chickens and eggs

Organic vegetables, fruit,

regional barter system.

167 Grogan Road

6

and meat 3

Green Market Farm 710 Daniel Shays Highway

7

Red Apple Farm

New Salem, MA

455 Highland Avenue

Organic vegetables, fruit, bakery

Phillipston, MA Vegetables, fruit, berries

4

Many Hands Organic Farm CSA 411 Sheldon Road Barre, MA Organic vegetables, fruit, herbs and meat

41


Petersham Village

Earthlands Petersham Village Center

Earthlands ‌

2.5 MILES

42


Petersham A classic New England town.

Petersham is a classic, small New

Most basic services are not available in

up to six dwellings. To control growth,

England town. The town centers around

Petersham. There are no gas stations,

the town issues six building permits per

a village green surrounded by stately

major grocery stores, restaurants, or

year on a first-come, first-serve basis for

historic homes, the general store, the

banks, though the small and charming

eligible applications. Special Permitting

library, churches, and the Nichewaug

Petersham General Store in the village

(Section 11.2.d) may be granted by the

Inn, a large historic building complex

center provides a meeting place for eating

Board of Appeals for unusual situations

which is currently unused.

and drinking coffee as well as a selection

that do not comply with current bylaws.

of grocery items like local baked bread,

Although Earthlands’ plans involve

milk, dry goods, and wine.

multiple uses, which is prohibited, all are

Not far from the village center, Petersham’s rural character becomes

in service of the educational institution,

immediately apparent. Conservation

the IEA, and are complimentary to each

land with public-access trails, mature

In its Master Plan, Petersham encourages

woodlands, wetlands, working farms and

low-impact business development that

widely spaced houses flow along the mild

meshes with the rural character of

Board of Health

hills and valleys of Petersham.

the town and integrates the natural

Building permits for new dwelling

resources of the area. Examples of

units are issued only after the Board

this include small farms, forestry, and

of Health has issued a Disposal Works

zone in the village center preserves its

ecotourism, the latter two of which

Construction Permit and a Private Well

long-established character while the

represent an opportunity for Earthlands.

Permit. The Board of Health requires the

A short, narrow “Historic District”

Minimum Standards for the Disposal

rest of Petersham is zoned ResidentialAgricultural.

other.

Bylaws

of Sanitary Sewage in Unsewered

Bylaws for Petersham include allowances

Areas Title 5 (310 CMR 15.000) State

for expanding existing structures and

Environmental Code, Massachusetts

construction of multi-unit buildings with

Department of Environmental Protection.

43


Earthlands Community and Friends Feedback about the future vision of Earthlands Jeffrey Weisberg, former Lodge caretaker, on creating models of sustainability:

Bill Grover, IEA Board Member, on the uniqueness of and opportunities at Earthlands:

Cathy Pedevillano, Shamanic Healer, on the meaning of a true model of sustainability:

“If you are going to be state of the art...

“As the vision unfolds, the energy

“To me, this means that you walk your

you have to be incredibly adept at

at Earthlands will enter human

talk, that you live as lightly as possible

consciousness at a cosmic level where

on the Earth. Be energy efficient, support

every place on Earth is honored as

local economies, be in tune with the

sacred. At that point Earthlands,

land and the needs of the land, strive to

the place, will emerge as one of

create harmony and balance in all areas

many profoundly important sites for

of operation, work as a team, have a

renewal of community through ritual

focused vision, don’t overextend, allow

and celebration. It will be a place of

growth to happen in an organic and

pilgrimage much as it is with many of the

gradual way.”

implementing strategies of sustainability into practice.... What you do (should be) in excellent condition and a model for those that come to learn by it. It should be fun too.”

Lorrie Klosterman, IEA clerk and Board member, on the Lodge building: “A strong appeal of the current location is its viewshed: the food gardens, fields, tree-lined edges, rescued sheep, soaring

44

current programs that enjoy returning members, and is especially true of the

birds and roaming turkeys and deer,

Earthstory event that happens every

sunsets, and night sky.... This view

year. A sacred place of celebration at a

gives a sense of physical, emotional, and

cosmic level.... The land is the sacred

spiritual spaciousness that is priceless....

element of Earthlands. We should not be

It’s virtually impossible to sleep on the

afraid of creating a new program facility.

second floor...the rooms aren’t really

It will be the intention with which we

separated.... The entry to the bathrooms

design and site a new program center

and shower might best be at the end of

that is critical to the success of this choice.

a room rather than in the middle of the

The land will speak to us and guide us to

most popular space.”

the right and perfect solution.”


Bill Pfeiffer and Cathy Pedevillano, Earthlands Neighbors (Bill is the President of Sacred Earth Network), on the development of the projects: “Thinking of how to thrive in a more... expensive fossil fuel environment is a great challenge. Putting emphasis on food growing on the land is part of it. However there is no pretense of

Dave Jacke, Native Harvest Designs, on developing the site at Earthlands:

transparency and positive intention are

Davis Hawkowl, Organizer of Earthstory '05 and '06, on what it means to be a sustainable institution:

held in the highest regard. We also think

“The criteria on which it is judged is its

location. There is little going on anywhere

investing in quality equipment, buildings,

success, that it proves over time to be

nearby. Also, the big long driveway to

and people is a model for success and

actually sustainable. It also needs to be

the Lodge is problematic. If you develop

sustainability....

innovative. For something to stand out in

all along that road, what context is

We suggest starting with clear,

the field, it has to showcase something

created along the way? Every jewel needs

measurable, tangible steps, building

not already available—social, teaching,

its setting... although, if buildings are

on each other and creating enthusiasm

building, economic systems—and a ‘skill

clustered near the lodge, it won't be

and energy, will help attract the right

set’—good teachers, staff, and builders.”

the same experience.... There should

sustainability being some absolute state achieved somewhere off in the future, but a dynamic developmental process where

“One of the challenges is the remote

resources and people to make the vision

be clustering to minimize disturbance,

a reality.”

although the University of the Wild and the Program Center need separation....”

45


Cultural Partners

BRATTLEBORO,VT

School for International Training

KEENE, NH

Antioch University New England 15 M ILE S

ORANGE GREENFIELD

Dean's Beans North Quabbin Woods The Farm School 7.5 M Walnut Hill Tracking ILE & Nature Center S Millers River Environmental Center

Greenfields Market Co-op

Greenfield Community College

Seeds of Solidarity

Woolman Hill Center

Harvard Forest Polus Center PETERSHAM

Insight Meditation Center

Sirius

UMASS Amherst Amherst College

Cultural Neighbor University/College 0

2.5

5

Food Farm AMHERST Bank Hampshire Smith College College

Miles 7.5

Quabbin Reservoir

Anna Maria College

New England Small Farms Institute

Agape Assumption College WORCESTER

Mount Holyoke College

46

Sacred Earth Network Heart of the Shaman

EARTHLANDS

Tenemos

Legend

Mt.Wachusett Community College

Worcester State College


Potential Cultural Partners Many like-minded organizations are in the vicinity of Earthlands.

Sharing resources such as students,

Program at Greenfield Community

Polus Center

instructors, programs, funding, ideas,

College and facilities to fifteen to twenty

“The Polus Center for Social and Economic

and space with like-minded, established

private and non-profit organizations who

Development supports community-based

organizations will be key to the success

conduct programs at the Program Center.

of Earthlands’ future projects.

opportunities for people with disabilities and

Earthlands also co-sponsors off-site

other vulnerable groups.”

Institutions which may one day provide

events, like the Annual Spring North

Petersham, MA

a degree to students of the University

Quabbin Earth Festival in Petersham,

of the Wild include University Without

and the North Quabbin Woods Project in

Walls at UMass Amherst and Antioch

Orange, Massachusetts.

University in Keene, New Hampshire. For the benefit of the international component of the curriculum of the University of the Wild, Gaia University and the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont, have experience and expertise. Yestermorrow in Warren,

Sacred Earth Network With a mission to “build a balanced and sustainable culture...(and to) connect with the earth and remember indigenous wisdom.” Petersham, MA Bill Pfeiffer, Executive Director (978) 724-0120 www.sacredearthnetwork.org

Vermont, may be an excellent facility llege

programs that promote social and economic

to teach students of the University of the Wild green building techniques and alternative transportation technologies. Earthlands currently provides programs for students of the Human Ecology

Michael Lundquist, Chief Executive Officer (978) 724-3342 www.poluscenter.org Miller’s River Environmental Center A “community resource providing a working environment for collaboration between governmental and non-governmental agencies and citizens (with) a strong emphasis on the education and training of area citizens to enhance their appreciation for, connection with, and stewardship of the rich natural resources of the region.”

Insight Meditation Center Offering “meditation retreats rooted in the Theravada Buddhist teachings of ethics, concentration and wisdom.” Barre, MA (978) 355-4378 www.insightmeditationcenter.org

Athol, MA Dave Small, Executive Director (978) 248-9491 www.millersriver.net

47


Cultural Partners

Agape Community

Audubon Expedition Institute

Dynamy

An activist pacifist Catholic retreat and

“College and graduate students travel

Dynamy's mission is to “challenge, support,

residential community, utilizing green

throughout North America and Canada learning

and empower young people to discover their

technologies.

from the people and places at the forefront of

purpose in life and to practice their values

Ware, MA

today’s most pressing environmental and social

through internship, programs and mentoring.”

Brayton and Suzanne Stanley

issues.”

Worcester, MA

(413) 967-9369

Belfast, Maine

Jim Zuberbuhler, Executive Director

www.agape.org

Lily Fessenden

(508) 755-2571

(207) 338-5859 x10

www.dynamy.org

Antioch University New England,

www.aei-auduboncollege.org

Department of Environmental Studies

48

EarthAction

Provides a “transdisciplinary approach to

The Conway School of Landscape Design

“EarthAction’s goal is to mobilize growing

environmental learning.”

With a mission to “explore, develop, practice,

numbers of people around the world to press

Keene, NH

and teach design of the land that is ecologically

their governments (or sometimes corporations)

Steve Chase, Director of Environmental

and socially sustainable.”

for stronger action to solve global problems.”

Advocacy Program

Conway, MA

Amherst, MA

(603)357-3122

Paul Hellmund, Director

Lois Barber

www.antiochne.edu

(413)369-4044

(413) 549-8118

www.csld.edu

www.earthaction.org


East Quabbin Land Trust

Gaia University

Harvard Forest

“Exists to conserve the natural, historical,

“Widescale human learning and unlearning

3000 acres of land, research facilities, and the

agricultural, and recreational character of (the)

are the keys to making the transition from

Fisher Museum.

region.”

our current eco-destructive culture to a fresh,

Petersham, MA

Hardwick, MA

designed culture that is eco-constructive

(978) 724-3302

Rick Romano

and socially just.” Students earn credits for

harvardforest.fas.harvard.edu

(413) 477-8229

Bachelors and Masters Degrees, Certificates

www.eqlt.org

and Diplomas.

Hitchcock Center for the Environment

www.gaiauniversity.org

“Offering natural history programs for people

The Farm School

of all ages and backgrounds, and training

“A family farm for the coming generations

Greenfield Community College,

educators to be more effective science

where people experience first hand what it

Human Ecology Program

teachers.”

means to be stewards of the earth.”

“Promotes the development of basic literacy

Amherst, MA

Athol MA

in evolution from the birth of the universe to

Julie Johnson, Executive Director

Ben Holm

contemporary life on earth,” including “basic

(413) 256-6006

(978) 249-2656

characteristics of ecosystems and ecological

www.hitchcockcenter.org

www.farmschool.org

problems.” Greenfield, MA Angel Russek (413) 775-1000 www.gcc.mass.edu

49


Cultural Partners

Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust

Pine Street Co-Housing

School for International Training

A conservation organization with the mission to

A “small, eight-home intergenerational

Featuring a program in intercultural

“address the rapid, unorganized development

community that emphasizes resource

management that focuses on issues of

of productive farm and forestland in north

efficiency, environmental preservation and a

sustainability and social justice.

central and western Massachusetts.”

deep sense of community.”

Brattleboro, VT

Athol, MA

Amherst, MA

Jennifer Travis

Pam Kimball-Smith

David Kastor

(802) 258-3246

(978) 248-2043

(413) 549-4119

www.sit.edu

www.mountgrace.org Rowe Camp and Conference Center

Seeds of Solidarity Education Center, Inc.

Omega Institute

Rowe, MA

“Provides people of all ages with the inspiration

“Through innovative educational experiences

“Offers an exceptional array of outstanding

and practical tools to use renewable energy

that awaken the best in the human spirit,

teachers and workshops in a small, intimate

and grow food in their communities.”

Omega provides hope and healing for

forum.”

Orange, MA

individuals and society.”

Doug Wilson, Director and Founder

Deb Habib

Rhinebeck, NY

(413) 339-4954

(978) 544-9023

(845) 266-4444

www.rowecenter.org

www.seedsofsolidarity.edu

www.eomega.org

50


Sirius Community

The Trustees of Reservations

Williams College,

Consists of an ecovillage, a non-profit

A conservation organization with a mission

Center for Environmental Studies

educational center, and an intentional

“To preserve, for public use and enjoyment,

Williamstown, MA

community.

properties of exceptional scenic, historic, and

(413) 597-2346

Shutesbury, MA

ecological value in Massachusetts.”

www.williams.edu/CES

Bruce Davidson

Leominster, MA

(413) 259-1255

(978) 840-4446

Woolman Hill

www.siriuscommunity.org

www.thetrustees.org

“Rustic facilities offer a peaceful atmosphere for conferences, workshops, meetings, family

Sustainability Institute

University of Vermont,

gatherings, individual retreats, and other

Focuses on “understanding the root causes

Environmental Program

events.”

of unsustainable behavior in complex

Burlington, VT

Deerfield, MA

systems...to help move human society toward

(802) 656-4055

(413) 774-3431

sustainability.” The staff includes biologists,

www.uvm.edu/~envprog

www.woolmanhill.org

modelers, and facilitators.

University Without Walls (UMass)

Yestermorrow Design/Build School

Hartland, VT

Offering “adult learners the opportunity to earn

Yestermorrow Design/Build School inspires

(802) 436-1277

a UMass UWW degree that builds on credit

people to create a better, more sustainable

www.sustainabilityinstitute.org

granted for prior coursework and experience.”

world by providing hands-on education that

Amherst, MA

integrates design and craft as a creative,

(413) 545-1378

interactive process.

www.uww.umass.edu

Warren, VT

writers, social scientists, system dynamics

(802) 496-5545 www.yestermorrow.org

51


Site Suitability

Legend Protected Open Space Oak-a-thon New Protected Space Cleared Field Wetlands Steep slopes Buildable Areas

0

52

250

500

Feet 1,000


Site Suitability: Inventory and Analysis Summary of 1997 CSLD Student Work

As you turn onto unpaved Glasheen

In the fall of 2006, 75 acres were put

Many factors must be considered in the

Road from East Street, the tree canopy

into permanent conservation leaving the

determination of development locations

closes in over the road, and you have

northern 162 acres available for potential

on the Earthlands site. Disturbance

entered the Earthlands property. On-grid

development.

cannot be avoided when clearing heavily

electric service is in place along the town-

wooded sites. Reusing previously

manintained Glasheen Road, and could

The 1997 Conway School of Landscape

disturbed areas and reducing footprint

be connected to the Earthlands property.

Design student project's analysis of the

requirements of new construction

Earthlands site indicates limitations to

should be incorporated into planning.

Soft slopes of mixed hardwood forests

consider when siting new construction

Site circulation that navigates heavy

characterize over two-hundred acres of

on the property. The determination

foot traffic away from sensitive areas

land, and include an intermittent stream,

made by the 1997 study indicates three

and minimizes the diffusion of cars

wetland areas, and several cleared, open

segregated areas, totalling approximately

throughout the site is essential to reduce

spaces. In the northwest, the two largest

100 acres, are suitable for building based

long-term ecological impact.

cleared fields slope gently south, away

on the criteria of slope and wetlands.

from the off-grid building called "the

Approximately one-third of the available

Lodge.� These fields are approximately

land is restricted by wetlands and

five to six acres each, and together

their associated buffers. A four-acre

are the spiritual center of Earthlands.

area on the west side of the property

Handcrafted cabins, out-buildings and

contains slopes that are too severe for

small semi-cleared areas are tucked into

development.

the woods throughout the property.

53


W i D K i o d w a T r s t

54


Water & Waste Management

Site Suitability

Number of people on site

As an example, parking areas should slope

flush toilets. A contract with a septage

150 Max at Program Center 66 Max at the University of the Wild 13 Staff 229 Total +125 Campers at the annual Summer Earthstory event

away from the well area. The size of the zone

hauler may be required. An alternative

depends on the capacity of the well.

grey-water (waste-water produced by

354 People potentially on-site

Water

baths, showers, clothes-washing, and Where a new well is needed, a professional

bathroom sinks) treatment system can be

engineer should be hired to determine

used in conjunction with the composting

the appropriate site, and a pump test

toilet system with approval by the

administered to determine capacity and

town Board of Health. Contracting the

quality. Until this test is done it is not

installation and ongoing monitoring of the

possible to ascertain quality or quantity of

system with the manufacturer or installer

water on any site in Petersham.

may be desirable or even required by the

Water use on the Earthlands site

Board of Health.

Department of Environmental Protection.

Composting Toilets, Septic, & Greywater

Using Reclaimed Water

Kim Longridge (413-755-2215) works with

Composting toilets have been granted

Any facility that is designed to reuse

issues in Petersham. If there are 25 people

“General Use” approval from Massachusetts

treated wastewater must have a valid

on the site over 60 non-consecutive days

DEP. Benefits of installing composting

discharge permit from the Department of

during any given year, the water supply

toilets include reduced nutrient loading

Environmental Protection (DEP).

will be defined as a “Public Water System,"

on-site and a 40% reduction in the scale of

Applications to build a new wastewater

and will be subject to DEP requirements.

the required septic system—a significant

treatment facility or to modify an existing

The protective radius around a well is

advantage to reducing site disturbance.

one must include an engineering report

referred to as a zone, and only water

Composting toilets, at both large and

along with a statement that the plans have

supply activities, or those that do not

small scales, require monitoring and

been prepared in accordance with the

threaten water quality, can occur within it.

maintenance beyond that of traditional

regulations: Title 5, 314 CMR 5.000.

is regulated by the Massachusetts

55


Ecological/Carbon Neutrality Footprint A model for sustainability looks for ways to mitigate carbon in its equation.

From Site

From Off-Site

Leaving Site

Materials Wastes

Kept on Site Maximize Mitigate

Also People drive to Earthlands

miles per year =

Lbs. of carbon.

To Mitigate: co-sponser the conservation of acres per year. Contribute hours of ecological education to local schools per year. Make available Lbs. of organic food, cut flowers, honey, compost, etc. to local markets per year. 56


Scale of Agriculture Needed

Site Suitability

With the addition of the University of the

By modeling the farm at Earthlands after

long as possible, as only time and atten-

Wild and aresidential community, the

small-scale diversified styles of intensive

tion paid to the lessons of the land will

population of Earthlands will increase

vegetable production, much food can be

produce the best results over the long-

greatly. A system of food production will

produced in less area. When calculating

term. On-site agriculture will provide an

be essential for the sustainability goals of

the area needed to feed a certain number

excellent educational opportunity within

the IEA.

of people, it should be considered that

the diverse curriculum of the University

less space is usually needed each

of the Wild. Knowledge of where one's

A productive farm system on site will

subsequent season as the farm system

food comes from and the skills to provide

provide community members with fresh

becomes more productive.

it are integral to the understanding of

vegetables throughout the year. By

“place� on the earth.

using a carefully planned schedule of

In his book The New Organic Grower, Elliot

crop plantings, food can be grown for

Coleman explains the tools and techniques

Members of the residential community

immediate consumption and storage.

needed for intensive cultivation of vegeta-

can bypass the traditional money/food

Growing seasons can be extended in the

bles. It is his belief that in New England,

exchange by trading part-time farm labor

spring and fall through the use of appro-

2.5 acres of intensively cultivated vegeta-

for food shares. Surplus farm produce

priate greenhouse technology. Food

bles can feed at least 100 people.

can be exchanged within a regional

will be consumed on-site, minimizing

barter network for other goods and

travel distance from farm to plate. In

An experienced farmer/manager using

the context of concerns around peak oil,

proper planning can maximize agricul-

local food sources will become

tural production. The same person

Special thanks to Sean Roulan for researching

should remain in this position for as

and writing a significant portion of this section.

more critical.

services.

57


Agape Community Neighborly advice

Brayton Shanley and his wife Suzanne created a non-profit

Brayton says, “Design is everything. Build according to your

organization and community in Ware, Massachusetts, where

vision for daily life. Surround yourselves with knowledgeable

they practice Catholic pacifist activism. Brayton says, “Pace is

experienced people, who know things like food, construction,

the primary evil. People are frantically chasing money, driving

and wood heat.” He observes that most Americans do not want

cars, and talking. This creates anxiety. Slowing down is the

to leave their individual homes for a greater good, as they are

first step.” For 25 years, Brayton and Suzanne have operated

invested so heavily in rugged individualism and nuclear families.

an and an ecologically sustainable lifestyle. The Shanleys live

“In our culture,” he says, “community is seen as a threat to

in a post and beam and straw bale house, built with white oak

privacy and the family unit, but it is community that brings

from their 32-acre site, and they use conventional and solar-

people together and grounds them.”

generated electricity, wood heat, wood cook-stove, and moldering compost toilet. Their car runs on grease obtained from a friend at a nearby fast-food restaurant. The community house on the property serves as a versatile building, housing interns and hosting events and meetings. People come to Agape for various lengths of time for educational events and retreats, or to study and meditate.

58


The success of a sustainable community depends somewhat upon self-sufficiency. People contribute specialized skills for the benefit of the community, and less outside labor and resources are required.

“Surround yourself with knowlegeable, experienced people.” –Brayton Shanley, Agape

59


References Program Center Scenarios

Petersham

www.cordwoodmasonry.com

Petersham Town Master Plan Open Space & Recreation Plan, Draft, 2003

Program Center Precedents www.rowecenter.org

Composting Toilets, Greywater Systems, and Title 5 Alternatives

www.blackforest.org

http://www.barnstablecountyhealth.org/AlternativeWebpage/

www.cordwoodmasonry.com

www.ecological-engineering.com

www.csupomona.edu

http://www.clivusmultrum.com

www.sit.edu

mass.gov/legis/laws/seslaw02/sl020176.htm

www.esalen.org

www.findhorn.org www.fieldsneighborhood.org

Agriculture

www.warren-wilson.edu

The New Organic Grower, Coleman, Elliot Chelsea Green Publishing Company, 1995

Trudeslund Community Cohousing, A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves

Maps

McCamant, Kathryn, and Durrett, Charles

All map data in this document sourced from the Office of

Ten Speed Press, 1988

Geographic and Environmental Information (MassGIS), Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs.

60


Who’s who at Earthlands IEA Board of Directors Dr. Larry Buell, President of the Institute and founder of Earthlands. Professor Emeritus of Human Ecology at Greenfield Community College. Lorrie Klosterman, IEA Clerk. College professor in the Natural Sciences and presently on the Sacred Earth Board. John Ryan, IEA Treasurer. Engaged in alternative education and a practicing herbalist. Tim Fuller, past Earthlands Summer Intern and graduate of the College of the Atlantic. Present COA Trustee. Bill Grover, Green Architect in the Boston area and long-time Earthlands member.

2007 Earthlands Strategic Planning Committee (In addition to the IEA Board & Earthlands Staff)

Nancy Hazard, former Executive Director of NESEA (North American Sustainable Energy Association) and transportation specialist. Jono Neiger, a practicing permaculturalist and college-level instructor of environmental themes. Jahnay Pickett, Senior Grant & Contract Administrator at University of New Hampshire with a speciality in “Green Living” initiatives.

Earthlands Staff Lucinda Ramsey, Lodge Co-Coordinator with several years of teaching in Southeast Asia and an experienced retreat center staff. Frank Deitle, Lodge Co-Coordinator who is a trained and experienced in permaculture and serves as a small-group facilitator. Justin Idoine, owner and operator of Abundant Home, a green alternative building firm in Vermont. Earthlands Facilities Coordinator.

Matt Sirum, Co-owner of Pioneer Valley Photovoltaics and a specialist in alternative energy.

Michael Lindquist, Executive Director of the international social justice non-governmental organization, Polis, Inc. John Knuerr, administrator of a New England-wide health care organization and professor of Environmental Ethics & Philosophy. Pamela Kimball-Smith, founding member of Earthlands and land protection specialist at Mount Grace Land Trust, Inc.

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Conway School of Landscape Design WINTER PROJECT 2007 Kate Dana Jennifer Campbell

We wish to thank: All of the people at Earthlands who generously shared their stories and experiences with us, and provided us with invaluable feedback. Lucinda Ramsey and Frank Deitle, for helping us better understand the daily experience of living at the Lodge, and on the land, and for their passionate

Lynn Harper at the Massachusetts

Sean Roulan for his piece about

Natural Heritage and Endangered

sustainable agriculture at Earthlands.

Species Program, for specific information about wildlife habitat at Earthlands.

at the Conway School of Landscape

Department of Environmental Protection,

Design, for their patience, feedback, and

for explaining the laws pertaining to well

therapeutic counseling throughout this

water in the state, and for explaining the

project.

relevant geology of Petersham. Jennifer Travis at the School for

inspiring.

International Training, Jim Zuberbuhler at Dynamy, and Steve Chase at Antioch New England, for taking time to discuss

The Conway School of Landscape Design is the

the possibility of partnering with the

only institution of its kind in North America. Its

University of the Wild.

focus is sustainable landscape planning and

Elizabeth Farnsworth and David Lynch,

design and each year through its accredited,

for their incredibly knowledgeable and

ten-month graduate program, up to twenty

insightful feedback and suggestions.

students are immersed in a range of applied

IEA, and for graciously including us in

Dave Jacke, Bill Grover, Davis Hawkowl,

landscape

Institute information sessions during this

Lorrie Klosterman, Cathy Pedavillano,

residences to regions. Graduates have gone on

process.

Bill Pfeiffer, and Jeffrey Weisberg for

to diverse professional roles in many aspects of

taking time to write their thoughts about

landscape planning and design with an eye to

Earthlands and the vision for the future

sustainability. www.csld.edu

and encouragement, focus, and dedication to clarifying and solidifying the many aspects, expectations, and ideas regarding the vision of Earthlands. Larry Buell, for copious information and background on Earthlands and the

of the IEA.

62

Hellmund, and Kim Erslev, the faculty

Kim Longridge at the Massachusetts

enthusiasm for Earthlands. It is Justin Idoine, for his close cooperation

Mollie Babize, Ken Byrne, Paul

studies,

ranging

in

scale

from

2007 Earthlands Project  

Strategic plan for the sustainability of Earthlands and the University of the Wild