Permaculture, Revisited: Is Your School Next?

Photo by MrGluSniffer |

A few months ago, I wrote an article about a campus permaculture as green trend that is gaining popularity and continuously evolving amongst many schools worldwide.  I specifically focused on the award-winning efforts taking place at the University of Massachusetts, which since then has inspired other students to launch similar initiatives at their own schools.   

Thanks to some innovative thinking, campus-wide co-operation, and the desire to create a more sustainable campus, the multipurpose ¼ acre permagarden at UMass was created.  Not only does the area serve as a welcoming environment for the school’s staff and students, but also is a hands-on teaching tool, as well as a provider of fresh food for the school cafeteria. 

Now that the green space is in place, UMass will be hosting a conference with the hopes of inspiring other schools to develop permagardens on their campuses. Permaculture Your Campus 2012 will showcase the UMass permaculture success, while also helping participants design gardens that are best suited for their school’s climate, community, and size.  You can learn more about the conference details and general information regarding permaculture. 

If I have yet to make this clear, I am a huge fan of campus permaculture.  When it comes bringing a community together, I think that planning and building a sustainable garden is one of the most productive ways of doing so, even if it is only a small patch of land.  I encourage everyone (students, staff, employers, volunteers - whoever!) to consider the benefits of permaculture and make an effort to become part of this movement. 

Imagine the possibility of campus gardens becoming just as common as bike racks and planted trees around your campus – it may sound farfetched now, but perhaps with the help of groups like the UMass Permaculture Initiative and the Permaculture Your Campus conference, campus gardens will one day become the norm at schools around the world.