campus news and events

Sustainable Living Series Features 'Transition Towns and Permaculture' and Lunch Discussion of 'From Principles to Actions'

NEW LONDON, N.H., Dec. 19, 2012 – Colby-Sawyer College's third-year Environmental Science and Environmental Studies majors will host two Permaculture events on campus. The events, held on consecutive days, are part of the college's Sustainable Living Series and the students' Community-Based Research Project that is helping to build the infrastructure for a Transition Town initiative in the Kearsarge Valley Region.

The first event, a presentation on “Transition Towns & the Human Side of Permaculture” led by permaculture planner Steve Whitman, will be held Friday, Feb. 1. at 6:30 p.m. in the Curtis L. Ivey Science Center.

The next day, Saturday, Feb. 2, a potluck working lunch will focus on the theme of “From Principles to Actions” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Ivey Science Center. Interested community members are invited to attend to brainstorm ideas and develop practical strategies that can be implemented in the Kearsarge Valley. Attendees are encouraged to bring a favorite dish to share, as well as their own plate, cup and utensils to help reduce waste.

All community members who are interested in the ideas of permaculture and transition and who want to learn more are welcome to attend these free events.

Permaculture is a framework for working toward greater sustainability that uses ecological principles to integrate food and energy production, structures and community. Its aim is to create sustainable human settlements that are woven into the environment and promote the diversity, stability and resilience of natural ecosystems. Transition Towns bring local individuals, businesses and organizations together into a network committed to improving the well-being and resilience of the community. Drawing on the ideas, skills and experiences of residents, they develop positive localized solutions to address the regional impacts of larger global issues such as economic insecurity, environmental instabilities and dependence on non-renewable energy.

Steve Whitman is a professional planner with Jeffrey H. Taylor and Associates of Concord, N.H., who has worked on planning issues at the state, local and regional level. He focuses on community planning and sustainability issues through the lens of natural systems-thinking and ecology. Whitman is a local and international educator as well as an adjunct faculty member at Plymouth State University and Colby-Sawyer College, where he teaches courses in environmental and community planning, permaculture and sustainability.

Whitman has also been involved with an evolving Transition Town initiative in the greater Plymouth, N.H., area, has organized Transition Training events across New Hampshire and is working with others on a new implementation model called Transition Neighborhoods. Whitman lives in Plymouth and participates in a wide range of grassroots projects that promote resilience in his region.

To learn more about the Kearsarge Valley Transition Initiative and the talk, visit

Colby-Sawyer College is a comprehensive college that integrates the liberal arts and sciences with professional preparation. Founded in 1837, Colby-Sawyer is located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire.

Colby-Sawyer College, 541 Main Street, New London, N.H. 03257 (603) 526-3000