July 14, 2010

Denver: Let the Sun in: Solar Design for Sustainable living. ~ Maya Ellman

Love this article via Maya Ellman, of Duo Marketing & PR. So wonderful to know that programs and classes that promote and integrate indigenous values and sustainable community are being offered around the Denver area at an ecology center that walks its talk—learning and growing from nature and living sustainably while addressing the fundamental social and ecological issues of today. I can’t wait to visit, get my hands dirty and delve into courses on sustainability. ~ Lindsey Block

Solar Design Program at Woodbine Ecology Center with Paul Shippee.

The Woodbine Ecology Center, located just 40 miles south of Denver, announces the much anticipated Solar Design and Natural Building for Sustainable Communities with Crestone Solar School’s (CSS) Paul Shippee, Thursday July 15 through Sunday July 18. This residential four-day workshop combines hands-on and theoretical study.

During the program, Shippee, who has designed and built several passive solar homes in Colorado, including energy-efficient retrofits and zero-energy solar homes, will teach a wide variety of natural building techniques and solar heating options for sustainable home and community design. The workshop will prepare participants to design and build a solar home or begin a professional career in the fast-growing field of renewable energy and sustainable living.

Shippee, holds a degree in Civil Engineering and was the founding President of the Colorado Solar Energy Association. He helped plan energy conservation research and testing with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. His teaching experience includes courses in solar, renewable, alternative and energy design at Colorado State University, Naropa University, University of Colorado at Boulder, and the University of Colorado at Denver.

“Woodbine Ecology Center is pleased to collaborate with Shippee—a leader in solar design—for this exciting program,” said Pavlos Stavropoulos, Sustainability Coordinator at Woodbine. “Since the first day humans started constructing shelters, solar design has been at the core of human community—sustainability is not possible without the understanding and implementation of solar design principles.”

Surrounded by forest and shaped by the creek that runs through the land, Woodbine’s 61 acres includes a three-story lodge built into the natural slope of the land, the new Helen Henry Living Resource Center and library, and a 2,000-foot A-frame that served as the chapel when Woodbine was a Christian youth camp.

Today, Woodbine is an educational center, but its biggest classroom is the land itself. The programs at Woodbine follow the principal that it is the living classroom, rather than inside four walls, where the greatest lessons can be found.

“When we spend time in the natural world, and use all of our senses, imagination and creativity, like the indigenous people, we can learn again how to be part of the natural world,” said Stavropoulos. “The aim of our programs is to reconstruct a balanced relationship between humans and the environment.”

The cost of the workshop is $725, which includes lodging and meals.

A limited number of work trade positions are available to participants based on demonstrated financial need.

Additional Summer 2010 Programs include: The Healing Power of Local Plants, July 25; Permaculture Design Course, July 30-August12; Indigenous Permaculture Convergence, August 13-15; Sustainable Watersheds for Sustainable Communities, August 27-29. Click here for the complete class descriptions, times and more information.

About Woodbine Ecology Center

Located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and just 40 miles south of Denver, the Woodbine Ecology Center is a unique educational center that offers courses, workshops, and events to the public. Inspired and guided by the historical wisdom of indigenous peoples, Woodbine utilizes education, demonstration, research, and active collaboration with indigenous and other communities to develop and promote examples of egalitarian, self-reliant, and sustainable living. An oasis of 61 acres, Woodbine offers a mix of ecosystems where people and communities from varied backgrounds and histories gather to rejuvenate and learn. For more information, check out the Woodbine website.

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