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Building a permaculture park

 
Posts: 75
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For a few years I have been thinking about and working in city parks. Majority of the work has been mowing, weed eating and using toxic fairy dust (TFD). I have not found anything to date about the use of permaculture in a public park. I have a few ideas:

1. Could one build a playground that uses permaculture?

2. Is there a way to increase beauty of the park and at the same time decrease the work needed for upkeep?

3. Eliminate the need and use of toxic fairy dust?

I know that the answer to the questions are yes. How would one begin this project?  
 
steward
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I'm thinking...

1.  Probably.  Maybe play equipment that isn't plastic or treated wood.  Things that encourage kids to play with nature.  Maybe frog ponds, big tree chunks to jump off and crawl under, maybe recreate the fun of playing in the woods for city kids.

2.  Sure!  Put in big areas of wild flowers and pollinator habitat instead of grass.  Plant clover in the grass to fertilize it and keep them from weed and feeding it.

3.  Yup.  Clover grass mixes to self feed Nitrogen.  Let the dandelions grow.  

How does one begin?  Beats me.  I'd get to know the city parks people.  Show them a yard that isn't TFD'd and still looks good.  See if they care about pollinators or rain gardens.  If your city is big enough, there might be environmental people to talk to as well.
 
gardener
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T Blankinship wrote:How would one begin this project?



I'd say it would need to begin as all permaculture projects do, with observation. Study the site in different weather and situations. Keep detailed notes. Study the nearby area. What sort of plants grow unattended? What is the natural state of the land where you plan to set up the playground? What are the natural materials present on and around the site? Does it lend itself to certain designs?

Locally there is a small nature park with a pavilion. Whoever built it decided to create a 'natural playground' using some of the larger trees they had taken down to create the open area and the paths. A huge log hollowed out to climb through, several large balance beams constructed from smoothed logs fixed together, etc. All the woodchip from chainsawing things became the ground in the playground area. Something to consider.
 
pollinator
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Good chance you can "go through the front door" as opposed to trying guerilla tactics. Go looking for "friends". Preferably people already grouped around gardening or nature.

Eg. city "garden clubs". Mostly run by women, often centered on a small group with major players using the club to enhance their business (often real estate). I have always had casual acquaintance with the local club through my mother and after her death through one of her friends still in the club. These people are usually not hide bound in thought and mind (at least not all of them the same way) and while they are the usual sort with pluses and minuses, they are usually actively looking for projects. The members see the club as a social venue where they can hang together doing stuff they personally enjoy; they need projects to get together around. Depending on the locale, they often have a wide ranging type of membership, from the governor's wife down through 76 yrold hippies - both filthy rich and plain and acknowledged charity cases. Men are usually tolerated for entertainment purposes and lifting heavy objects and digging.

Grade schools often have programs with teachers casting about for subject matter and program sites which won't touch off tribal warfare amoung the parents.

_Some_ immigrants are still close to the land and actually look for ways to get some "free" herbs or vegetables. There is a 3 acre field next to the Home Depot in Colma CA which was almost fully farmed by Philippino families with some Chinese evident; most I saw out there were middle aged or older, both men and women. They were taking food off that land.

What you look for is first people who aren't against you, who have a bit of common interest. Then somebody (you?) needs to write a letter to the park department, copies to the city council, outlining how this or that idea might get them something - positive publicity, take some acreage off their budget, something. You and as many "friends" as you can round up sign the letter. Maybe I should have said, go visit the official players first, be friends with _them_ and find out what to say in the letter. Then proceed with the organizing.

Not everybody's cuppa, but not real complicated and most of the pieces of this puzzle can be found in most places. They need stringing together. They need a legitimate person who will communicate a plan, who can put in some work. Work. Because it doesn't happen overnight. It doesn't happen if nobody makes the phone calls, stands up in front and asks for ideas and participation, goes and bothers the officials (nicely) ongoing.

Look upon it as something to do with your free(!) time. It's unlikely to be more work than digging and no telling who you meet or what seeds you toss out germinate. I can tell you, there are some far fucking out people in that garden club, but you'd never know it to see most of them walking down the street in their "public" uniform. Get them around a garden plan and different things start to happen.

Cheers,
Rufus
 
pollinator
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I think Rufus has nailed it, at least for the cities in my area this is how shit happens.

It sounds absolutely awful to me, which is why I live in the woods and do everything myself.

But.. there are nifty publicly accessible places that I have benefited from, mostly cuttings and seeds. When I lived close to them, I put in a little time working on them, it only seemed fair.

Most places, there are people who will turn out to do this stuff... if someone does all that shit Rufus went through!
 
T Blankinship
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Rufus Laggren, you make a lot of good points. I am on the city tree board and currently employed by the city to work in the parks. It can be hard to find people who are not against me or understand what I am talking about. I think the biggest issue is trying to get people off the TFD and the idea that nature is not there personal bitch. When I talk about the impact of TFD few listen or think I am just crazy. Now back to the design, the park in question is about 10 or 15 acres (4 to 6 hectares). There are many trees, playgrounds, shelter houses (places where people can have party's in the park) and a pool. My first idea is to create guilds around a few of the smaller trees. This I hope would cut down on the need to use a weed eater and eliminate TFD.  Next playground equipment has requirements dealing with safety and handicap accessible. So could a park use equipment that is made from recycled things, that would not be full of TFD?
 
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pollinator
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Perhaps some research into this historical example will be useful.

In Tenochtitlán (capital city of the Mexica, or "Aztec", Empire), there were such permaculture parks! They were the sites of drama and music during the day.

They were planted with such things as scarlet runner beans (Phaseolus coccineus), and various fruits, some of which are not available to us today in the USA.

The City of Santa Cruz, California, when I lived there, had, and probably still has, lemon trees planted around City Hall, so that people can come and grab a few lemons.

I know from experience with farmers markets that if you try to install free food plants in a city park you will receive strong opposition from local business leaders.
 
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This is sort of spooky.  Last night several friends and I - from a local group called Sustainable Rogue Valley - took plans and ideas to a city council meeting. We had found out a couple weeks ago that the city was putting a beautiful big bottom land acreage (250 acres) they bought 10 yrs. ago and never found a use for -- up for sale - and there were two bidders (one a non-organic farmer and one a rich race horse enthusiast who wanted to set it up for a training center for 400 race horses!) It's right next to the Rogue River...
   
Our group had cobbled together ideas and funding possibilities and arguments for not selling - each of us focusing on the whole but on their area of "expertise".  I put together a plan for a 5 acre "Resiliency" Park - that would be solar and wind powered, and have a small campground (it is right next to a boat ramp) that is tucked into a "food forest" - fruit tree guilds around each campsite. The shower/bathrooms were to be "natural buildings" of some kind (straw bale, cob?) with composting toilets, and showers rain water to some extent. The campsite would wrap around a large native "woodland" - where native edibles would be featured and mushroom growing and plants like ginseng and goldenseal would be grown with the local native plants. There would be a large "dragonfly" pond in the midst with native edible pond plants growing in it.  

Along the sunny side of the woodland would be "useful" plants gardens - featuring dye, medicinals, edible "weeds", fiber plants, etc.

There would be a Camp Host who would act as a docent giving daily tours and teaching classes in various permaculture subjects. He/she would live in some sort of alternative housing (tiny house, cob house, yurt) that is solar powered, with composting toilet, a small grey water pond, a small annual veggie garden with demonstration compost bins, worm bins, etc. There would be a small set up for a few hens - and a hoop house.  

In a large area surrounded by the ag fields there would be a big pavillion for events and things like yoga, chi gung, etc. It would be surrounded by a "lawn" planted with mini-clover, dandelions, wild strawberries and other plants that would take occasional mowing and the "lawn" would be dotted with larger food trees (walnut, pecan, persimmon, cherry, mulberry, etc...) for shaded picnics and hanging out - and once a year there would be a Resiliency Festival.

The Resiliency Festival would invite vendors of all sorts of eco products and systems (solar panels, small instream hydropower, etc) and there would be classes and demonstrations in useful and homesteading permaculture sorts of skills.
We saw the park as being a great tool for schools and 4-h clubs and garden clubs, etc. with special classes being set up. I even worked a program in for teaching homeless teens here...

I did a quick sketch to give a bit of a visual for the council members... as well as a 3 page proposal... that included a nearby wetland/wildlife sanctuary.  I'm going to try to include it here - although I realized in my rush to get it done for the council meeting that I left out many features (like the solar and wind, greywater processing, etc)  I have never done an image here so I don't know if this will work...

The bottom line is the city is probably going to sell it to the race horse people because they just don't want to deal with it and don't care about the wetlands or things like resiliency or permaculture (I was careful not to use that term to describe any of it... :-)

It was great fun putting this together I must say. As a landscape designer since the mid 70's I have designed several parks and my designs always focused on food plants and native plants. Our Sustainable Rogue Valley group created a series of 5 Firewise Demonstration gardens (all the plants are fire resistant - we are in wildfire country!) in the local fairgrounds that include a Permaculture garden, a Pollinator garden, a Monarch butterfly garden (that monarchs came to the first season!), a Native Edibles garden and a Rain Garden... They are over 3 years old now and thousands of people see them during Fair time since they are down the main thoroughfare.   But this Resiliency park would have been fun....  





RRSP.jpg
River Road Resiliency Park
River Road Resiliency Park
 
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I think the hardest part would be getting people to accept the idea, both city leaders and citizens. Many people have their own ideas of how parks should look. I also think this applies to their lawns. Heck, maybe it started with their lawns. They want a big expanse of green. From experience, it's hard to convince them that green doesn't have to be bermuda grass. I wish you the best of luck.
 
Barb Allen
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That's true, Marie. It looks like they are going to turn it over to race horses, so it's a moot point.
 
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Making a small butterfly garden inside a park is a nice way to start. I was a part of doing this in Pontiac, Illinois, at Riverside Park.
I was in grade school at the time, and our class went to Wildlife Prairie Park on a field trip and took notes about their butterfly park to assist with making the local one.
Things I remember are that they need access to water, but it needs to be shallow so they can get a drink without drowning. Some river stones in a pie pan can work, so they can land on them to drink. Two or three of these throughout a butterfly garden would be ideal.

And it's nice to have a bench for people to sit and enjoy watching the butterflies. You can also have little signs with info so people can learn more.

Also, from my gardening experience, butterflies love broccoli flowers! (if you grow it, but just let it go to flower).

I think a butterfly garden is a great way to get people interested in nature, and pollinators, and it can be fairly low-budget.

I would definitely recommend planting some butterfly milkweed as well, for monarchs.

Here's a place to start (the following is copied from online):

Make it a goal to include at least one native milkweed type to help the monarchs.
Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)
Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa)
Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
Antelope-horns Milkweed (Asclepias asperula)
Purple Milkweed (Asclepias purpurascens)


You could also plant some things bees love, like borage, to help with even more pollinators.


Hope this helps!
Shannon
 
Rufus Laggren
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> playgrounds... recycled materials
Very unlikely because of liability and insurance concerns. This is the land of the lawsuit. As anybody who has ever dealt with moving groups of people in a certain direction knows, there is _always_ a few that take the opposite direction and stick and fight. Consider the opportunity to sue the city  as something a few somebodys will always try and you can start to see why "authorities" do NOT want to do things which don't have huge justification and CYA. They have some valid reason for caution.

> 250 acres
That's too big a mouthful w/out serious political backing. There is real money flowing there, with predictable results. Again, CYA because those who can be held responsible for anything _will_ be held responsible for anything. And with big money at play, there will be big feelings.

What I was thinking and what I have seen personally is small initiatives which the Powers That Be mostly just consider a sop and a throw away and a "what the heck, why not" item. As long as there's some interest, minimal cost and no complaints, they're often willing to go along.


Regards,
Rufus
 
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It's not a public park but I'm slowly building my backyard to basically be a permaculture park for my family and friends to enjoy. Part of this includes a play area. The play area has a sandbox I built using salvaged logs and other pieces of wood and I just recently finished a natural playground built with salvaged wood--well mostly finished. I still need to put in an area for my kids to look for bugs. Just a little contained spot of the playground that will have kid sized rocks and logs and leaves where bugs should hangout. My son who is a little over 2 and a half is excited to go searching for little beasties! And I'm sure my daughter will love it once she is a bit older.

The sandbox is partially under a large cherry tree and there is a bench built from salvaged materials under the cherry tree. A large hugelkultur hedgerow runs along one side of the play area. The other side opens up into growing areas, a kitchen garden and an eco-lawn.

Just sharing to help generate ideas Attached are some pictures of the natural playground that I just built.

The organization I'm working for is currently designing a public access nature preserve that will focus on kids and teaching them about nature. It will be about 111 acres and may have some natural outdoor playgrounds. Here in Washington State groups like mine are exempt from liability as long as we are providing free public access and not creating known hazards. So not really a permaculture park but it will be a clean and safe area for kids and family to enjoy and connect with nature. I'm the restoration and public access manager for the group and I'm currently managing 4 public-access preserves with the new one opening in the next year or so and one of the existing 4 will be getting some new features in the next couple years to make it easier to bring large school groups out to it. I was just building a new outdoor classroom using salvaged wood at one of the preserves this week.
natural-playground-climbing-feature.jpg
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natural-playground-feature.jpg
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playground-with-hedgerow.jpg
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The hedgerow is filled with native plants. A lot are edible. This hedgerow is growing quickly and will fill in soon.
playground-with-sandbox.jpg
I just added a new larger wood round to make it easier for my kids to climb up to the big one in the middle.
I just added a new larger wood round to make it easier for my kids to climb up to the big one in the middle.
 
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In Seattle we have the Beacon Food Forest which I have heard is the largest such project in the US. They call themselves an edible arboretum.

Beacon Food Forest

I don't know if this is what you had in mind or even whether it is strictly permaculture, but it is a pretty nice addition to the City.
 
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The George Washington Carver edible park in Asheville, NC is a good example of what can be done in the city. It's right next to a children's play park where I used to take my kids when we lived there. This link tells some history of its origin and includes  a video tour from the Art and Bri youtube channel. I think Art has filmed at least two videos there. It's a great park!

Well, the link to the article didn't work because of Webloc, whatever that is, but here is the video at least.

 
pollinator
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I remember as a young kid taking some dandelion heads and blowing on them. It was a delightful time, and FREE: no plastic, no batteries, no concussions... unfortunately, the wind was carrying them on the neighbor's manicured lawn so mom did not approve.
[Well, now you gone done it: Excite the teacher in me!] Read on:
The more people you can enlist, the stronger the push for the project will be, so there goes.
If you ask how to get such a LOCAL project off the ground, I would suggest to enlist the help of teachers, all grades, within a town. A student's curiosity is boundless and for not much money at all, you can easily lift the enthusiasm for such a project. [Note to the Parents, explaining the project, appealing to them to provide seeds, young trees, bags of mulch from their [non-toxic-] lawns... The appeal to the teachers is that these are lesson plans that practically write themselves, full of opportunities for students of different abilities to shine and fitted to their discipline.
You could point out to the School Board [folks who always want to tighten the purse strings] that for the minimal cost of providing the seeds and plants, (or supplementing what parents can bring, the plot would more than pay for itself: less mowing, a feather in their cap to accomplish a great project, no pesticides [parents will like that]
Around here, we have sometimes what is called a "school forest". It is a piece of land attenant to a school where the Natural/ Earth Science teachers can bring the little kids and show them nature like it should be shown, with lots of explanations, signs.
Have the kids in the higher grades make signs to place them [wood shop, metal shop, art classes could be put in charge of signage].
Have the kids in High School write blurbs for each sign. [English class, Latin if you still have that]. The blurb they could write about each plant could then be transcribed by kids in Computer class or in Art class.
Kids in cooking classes and in health science can indicate the history of a plant that is useful in medicine or nutritious / Recipes?
The kids in art and in photo could take their topics from the School Forest and again, show off their art in the School hallways/ classrooms. When they graduate, they can take their artwork with them and in comes another crop of students and new tasks related to the food forest/ School forest/ School park. I tell you: As a former teacher, these lesson plans write themselves.
In a low-income community a forest garden could even be made so that folks at large could enjoy the "fruit of Nature"- literally- when the fruit come in season. [Reducing poverty, be all inclusive, teaching adults to rely on Nature even].
I believe that for Parent-Teacher Conferences before the winter break, some samples of the student's writing and sign making and photos could interest the whole community.
Talk about a win-win-win-win [repeating] for all.
 
Barb Allen
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Cécile Stelzer Johnson wrote:
If you ask how to get such a LOCAL project off the ground, I would suggest to enlist the help of teachers, all grades, within a town. A student's curiosity is boundless and for not much money at all, you can easily lift the enthusiasm for such a project. [Note to the Parents, explaining the project, appealing to them to provide seeds, young trees, bags of mulch from their [non-toxic-] lawns... The appeal to the teachers is that these are lesson plans that practically write themselves, full of opportunities for students of different abilities to shine and fitted to their discipline.
You could point out to the School Board [folks who always want to tighten the purse strings] that for the minimal cost of providing the seeds and plants, (or supplementing what parents can bring, the plot would more than pay for itself: less mowing, a feather in their cap to accomplish a great project, no pesticides [parents will like that]
Around here, we have sometimes what is called a "school forest". It is a piece of land attenant to a school where the Natural/ Earth Science teachers can bring the little kids and show them nature like it should be shown, with lots of explanations, signs.



This is a great idea Cécile. Perhaps I can use some of these ideas to get something going here.  Thanks for taking the time to share all that information!
 
T Blankinship
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Barb Allen wrote:This is sort of spooky.



It is not spooky, it is cool! I am loving the posts.
 
Barb Allen
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T Blankinship wrote:

Barb Allen wrote:This is sort of spooky.



It is not spooky, it is cool! I am loving the posts.



It's the TIMING that is spooky... That someone should post something here about building a permaculture park the very day that I designed one and submitted it to the City council and mayor... and went to a city council meeting about it.... (they are going to sell the park to a guy who will house race horses instead :-(  .... ah well... I gave it a shot! and it was great fun)
 
Rufus Laggren
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> race horses...

If you can be happy working on a smaller project:

Go hustle the guy(s) with race horses. Or anybody close them. That is a good sized piece of land. If they see almost _any_ upside to involving you in small spaces, they'll be able to consider you. Ideas, enthusiasm from weird interesting _aware_ pests (like you?) actually can be a welcome diversion and enhancement to their business work. There are a _lot_ of upsides here provided everybody keeps the communications friendly. Nothing wrong with being persistent - people respect that. And there are various persons you can target in that project. Owners, planners, wives, children, foreman, bankers, even back to the city people.

And there should be upsides you can add to their business. If nothing else, maybe a place where owners can hang out or park their guests and children for 15 minutes or so. But there are many more symbiotic opportunities. Remember to take into consideration the traffic patterns for the business, both the operating patterns and the customer patterns. You want to enhance, not impede. Be aware of _your_ traffic patterns for the same reason, especially your visitors' patterns. Beware parking, drop-off and delivery. Beware wandering children and other imponderables. (Beware = incorporate into the plan and presentation.)

Bring cupcakes(!). Listen, listen, listen.  People tend to look quite favorably on those who clearly have heard them. Even more so when you respond and adjust _your_ self to what they have said. Don't argue. Don't proselytize, at least until you know it will be taken in good humor by all. ASK for what you hope for. Pay attention, discover the next unguarded path. Understand,  converse, promote in ways that do not offend.

This may be an opportunity. This can work. <g>

Best luck,
Rufus
 
Barb Allen
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Thank you Rufus. This idea has actually been mentioned. The race horse guy is the owner of a big coffee chain (Dutch Bros.) - a bit like Starbucks but smaller... but he is also FROM and lives in our community and cares about it and is a bit of a philanthropist.  It's very possible that some version of this idea would be interesting to him and there very well could be room for it. I agree with your approach and would actually find it easy to take since I don't have any huge "investment" or emotional attachment to these ideas.  
 
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I agree that schools are good candidates, though probably urban schools which don't have much land won't work.  (Unless you can work with a few sidewalk strips.)  In addition to the ideas already mentioned, science classes of all ages can utilize outdoor areas for looking at plants, bugs, water features, and whatever other birds and wildlife may be around.  Children really need some nature time -- nature walks used to be a well-respected form of teaching.  Combine the permaculture 'park' with the little garden that quite a few schools have nowadays.  You would want to have some classes for the teachers on how best to utilize the resources in the park.

Kathleen
 
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A guy recently told me about a local tree trimmer in town.  He said that he has so many trimmings (logs, big branches, etc) piling up with no one to consistently take them - that he just has to dump them into the landfill!

Imagine just taking some of your local tree trimmer branches and logs to stack/dovetail/bolt together like asymmetrical Lincoln logs to create unique, organically-curved playgrounds!
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
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Max Lee wrote:A guy recently told me about a local tree trimmer in town.  He said that he has so many trimmings (logs, big branches, etc) piling up with no one to consistently take them - that he just has to dump them into the landfill!

Imagine just taking some of your local tree trimmer branches and logs to stack/dovetail/bolt together like asymmetrical Lincoln logs to create unique, organically-curved playgrounds!



Indeed: This constant :"Let's just put it all in landfills" is one of the practices that irks me the most. We've had severe weather in the Central Sands of Wisconsin and I immediately approached my landfill to see if I could get some of the stuff [broken branches, leaves etc.] chipped and taken to my place. Well, no!
Would they let me cut them in logs and haul it to my place? well, no! (I suspect because I'm a woman and they could not take responsibility on me hurting myself at the public landfill?). (Incidentally, they were not so afraid of the landscaper workers getting hurt operating the chipper)
Where did it go? the private local landscaping industry brought a chipper and took what they wanted and the rest? ...ended up in the landfill! I offered to pay for the chipping and the transportation to my property, but no. Such idiotic waste in view of the fact that folks would be happy to help their town by taking some of that waste is mind boggling.
Idem in slaughter houses: Feathers from poultry contain a high nitrogen content but the law is they have to bleach it and get it hauled to the landfill! *and*, they have to pay through the nose to get it hauled, too!. I managed to get the feathers of my own chickens {They belong to ME! was my argument}. But the second time, they would not let me: It is the law! My local grocery store and a number of restaurants have inedible produce/ leftovers. Could I get it for my chickens. No! it is illegal. They are afraid that folks would raid the trash, so they make it illegal.
When you think of all the jobs that could be created around recycling! of all the benefits to the public! AAaargh!!!
 
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Location: Dolan Springs, AZ (Zone 9a)
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Barb Allen wrote:This is sort of spooky.  Last night several friends and I - from a local group called Sustainable Rogue Valley - took plans and ideas to a city council meeting. We had found out a couple weeks ago that the city was putting a beautiful big bottom land acreage (250 acres) they bought 10 yrs. ago and never found a use for -- up for sale - and there were two bidders (one a non-organic farmer and one a rich race horse enthusiast who wanted to set it up for a training center for 400 race horses!) It's right next to the Rogue River...
   
Our group had cobbled together ideas and funding possibilities and arguments for not selling - each of us focusing on the whole but on their area of "expertise".  I put together a plan for a 5 acre "Resiliency" Park - that would be solar and wind powered, and have a small campground (it is right next to a boat ramp) that is tucked into a "food forest" - fruit tree guilds around each campsite. The shower/bathrooms were to be "natural buildings" of some kind (straw bale, cob?) with composting toilets, and showers rain water to some extent. The campsite would wrap around a large native "woodland" - where native edibles would be featured and mushroom growing and plants like ginseng and goldenseal would be grown with the local native plants. There would be a large "dragonfly" pond in the midst with native edible pond plants growing in it.  

Along the sunny side of the woodland would be "useful" plants gardens - featuring dye, medicinals, edible "weeds", fiber plants, etc.

There would be a Camp Host who would act as a docent giving daily tours and teaching classes in various permaculture subjects. He/she would live in some sort of alternative housing (tiny house, cob house, yurt) that is solar powered, with composting toilet, a small grey water pond, a small annual veggie garden with demonstration compost bins, worm bins, etc. There would be a small set up for a few hens - and a hoop house.  

In a large area surrounded by the ag fields there would be a big pavillion for events and things like yoga, chi gung, etc. It would be surrounded by a "lawn" planted with mini-clover, dandelions, wild strawberries and other plants that would take occasional mowing and the "lawn" would be dotted with larger food trees (walnut, pecan, persimmon, cherry, mulberry, etc...) for shaded picnics and hanging out - and once a year there would be a Resiliency Festival.

The Resiliency Festival would invite vendors of all sorts of eco products and systems (solar panels, small instream hydropower, etc) and there would be classes and demonstrations in useful and homesteading permaculture sorts of skills.
We saw the park as being a great tool for schools and 4-h clubs and garden clubs, etc. with special classes being set up. I even worked a program in for teaching homeless teens here...

I did a quick sketch to give a bit of a visual for the council members... as well as a 3 page proposal... that included a nearby wetland/wildlife sanctuary.  I'm going to try to include it here - although I realized in my rush to get it done for the council meeting that I left out many features (like the solar and wind, greywater processing, etc)  I have never done an image here so I don't know if this will work...

The bottom line is the city is probably going to sell it to the race horse people because they just don't want to deal with it and don't care about the wetlands or things like resiliency or permaculture (I was careful not to use that term to describe any of it... :-)

It was great fun putting this together I must say. As a landscape designer since the mid 70's I have designed several parks and my designs always focused on food plants and native plants. Our Sustainable Rogue Valley group created a series of 5 Firewise Demonstration gardens (all the plants are fire resistant - we are in wildfire country!) in the local fairgrounds that include a Permaculture garden, a Pollinator garden, a Monarch butterfly garden (that monarchs came to the first season!), a Native Edibles garden and a Rain Garden... They are over 3 years old now and thousands of people see them during Fair time since they are down the main thoroughfare.   But this Resiliency park would have been fun....  







Wow I love this design and would love something like this on my 5 acres!
 
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