SUNY Potsdam’s Students EcoVillage Experience 2016

By Jennifer Fernandez

Visiting Potsdam Students (Jennifer is center with hands on hips)

Visiting Potsdam Students (Jennifer is center with hands on hips)

The Ecovillage is an incredible place to learn about sustainable living through an intentional community. This semester in the course “Environment and Society” taught by Dr. Sullivan-Catlin we discussed how the two (environment and society) are related, from conversations on how climate change is affecting our beautiful mother earth and its people to conversations on ways we can work together on a personal and structural level to improve our current environmental crisis.  This semester eight of us took the opportunity to take part in, learn about, and understand the lives of those living in an intentional sustainable community.  Many of us were not even sure what we were getting ourselves into when deciding to take on this learning opportunity.  Some of the students commented:

“It far surpassed my expectations! I am so thankful for everything I’ve learned on this trip.”

“I originally thought this was a bit crazy, but I learned that this place is both innovative and normal in comforting ways! This place is lovely and I would love to live here.”

Students learn community scale compostiing

Students learn community scale composting

“I was able to experience first-hand experience in farming and new life long tips such as composting, working as a community, and resolving conflicts. I would highly recommend this to other students.”

“This definitely met my expectations and hopes, even exceeded some. What you all do here is amazing. I learned more about community, hard-work, and communication here than I have in my college career (thus far).”

We were able to step out of our comfort zones and do things we would not normally do or be able to do within our college setting, such as clearing land for planting along solar arrays, cutting invasive honey-suckle, working on a farm, and learning about composting (which seemed to be everyone’s favorite workshop!). We were all so excited to learn from you all.  Thank you for the hospitality and sharing your insightful knowledgeable experiences with us! We all hope to visit again soon!

Clearing land along solar arrays

Clearing land along solar arrays