My guest for this episode is Evan Marks, founder of The Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano, California. In addition to the Ecology Center, Evan is also a teacher and designer trained in permaculture and agroecology.
There’s a little bit of everything in this episode, which I recorded in February of this year. Evan and I talk about his background, the work of the Ecology Center, and practicing our work professionally, including the power of collaboration. Just as we support various functions in the landscape, so should we in our communities as well.
Part of The Ecology Center’s success stems from partnerships with other individuals and organizations, as well as in the mission driven, hands on focus. Evan and his team work together with the public and private groups to deliver education that is experiential and benefits everyone interested in sustainability. This is taken a step further by offering continuing education in partnership with the local school district to offer continuing education to teachers, which in turn benefits students.
Find out more about Evan and The Ecology Center:
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There is a moment in the conversation where Evan talks about there being Ecology Centers in each state, and I agree with him. This kind of model should be replicated elsewhere.
It’s something I’m working on here beyond the podcast, to combine the ideas you heard in this episode, with those of the show title “The Plan” from a while back, along with the idea of Hackerspaces, as presented by Wayne Dorband. I want to create a space where permaculture, ecological literacy, and skills, both high and low tech, can be taught to anyone who is interested in doing so, with the eventual goal of creating a private non-profit university that can take young adults from high school through graduate school in a focused, mentored, small class environment. I’m tired of dreaming big and want to dream bigger.
Will you join me?
I ask because, though I don’t know where I originally heard the idea, there is this thought that in order to keep moving forward we need to know out next step and then take it. My next step is to start an educational non-profit to get “The Plan” moving and an ecology center type of model going here in Central Pennsylvania. I know some of you have experience in these areas. If so, please let me know. I could use your help in navigating these new waters.
Do you have followup questions for Evan, or want to share your thoughts? Get in touch:
The Permaculture Podcast with Scott Mann
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018