Legacy Center builds backyard solutions for a sustainable future
Organization: The Legacy Center Inc
Author: Dr. Lori Todd
In July, an intrepid group of visionaries, part of the Legacy Center’s Leadership Program, built a groundbreaking model for backyard sustainability in Asheville, NC. The Legacy Center project, an outdoor sanctuary where abundant food and water is produced, is a “living laboratory” that will demonstrate the interconnection of all life and teach people creative ways to sustain their families and communities. Using methods that support a healthy, vibrant, and constantly renewing planet, the project planners hope not only to make a profound difference in the Asheville community but to build a model other communities can bring home to their neighborhoods and tangibly shift the cycle of harm of our planet.
The project leaders stand for love and freedom in the world and believe that the cycle of environmental degradation on our planet will be reversed when people feel loved and know that they are truly free. This can create a new culture of people who are connected to their planet and each other and begins in our local communities, where circles of connection between humans, their resources, and the whole web of life are understood and strong.
Project Site Description
The Ashevillage Institute is an eco-urban education center that promotes sustainable solutions in action. Ashevillage Institute is host to educational programs and a demonstration site that models ecological design for backyard resilience, namely integrated water and food systems. The site provides a space for community members to learn about aquaculture, permaculture, and environmentally friendly techniques they can use on their property no matter how big or small.
- Observation deck: A 25 ft long x 6ft wide deck constructed from locally harvested black locust lumber.
- Retaining Wall Bench: A ~20 ft long x 2 ½ ft wide x 4” deep cement bench constructed at the bottom of an unfinished retaining wall, which supports the hydro-channel of the rainwater catchment system.
- Edible Entry Arbor and Trellis: An extensive arbor and trellis constructed at the entrance to the backyard from locally harvested black locust wood.
- Landscaping: About one quarter of an acre of the property was planted with densely abundant, productive, edible, and bio-diverse plant life. The landscape is designed to integrate a variety of medicinal and edible plants with multiple functions (i.e., nitrogen fixers, dynamic accumulators, beneficial insect habitat, aromatic pest confusers).
- Birdhouses: Utilizing scrap wood and other materials, a team of volunteers constructed at least 5 birdhouses to be installed throughout the property. These birdhouses will provide habitat, as well as add to the beauty and character of the property.
The project was completed by enrolling everyone involved in donating all supplies and labor.
Completed project serves multiple functions
In addition to providing a sanctuary and source for food and water to the community, the project serves as a model for the Asheville area and to other communities and provides the following.
- Hands-on sustainability workshops for local leaders and citizens
- An eco-demonstration center that serves local needs
- Community outreach, organization & advocacy
- Educational documentation & presentations
For information on other Legacy Leadership projects, visit our website at http://www.thelegacycenter.com.
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