UMass Amherst’s Eco-Garden Wins White House Challenge

The UMass Permaculture Initiative has won the White House’s “Campus Champions of Change Challenge” out of a contestant pool of 1400.

The group–which runs a uniquely biodiverse garden that is a source for dining halls across campus–secured first place in the competition after gathering almost 60,000 votes in an online poll. Nathan Aldrich is a sustainability coordinator for UMass and one of the organization’s leaders. He says the global permaculture movement, which seeks to design a human environment that supports sustainable agriculture, played a sizable roll in his group’s success by organizing votes from around the world.

“There’s also a lot of permaculture list servs, news letters and news organizations in many different countries who’ve been watching this project grow up and they made sure that anyone who has access to a computer and is interested in permaculture knows who we are.”

Aldrich says all fifteen members of the UMass Permaculture committee and their guests will travel to Washington DC on March 15th, along with four other student groups receiving the prize. Aldrich says he is waiting on details confirming an event that will honor the groups’ work. Click here more information about UMass Permaculture.