UMass Permaculture Wins White House Campus Champions of Change Challenge!
University food garden team wins prestigious award
By Ryan Harb
Permaculture Research Research Institute
March 7, 2012
We did it everyone! It is now official. The UMass Permaculture team will be heading to the White House on March 15! This has been an amazing and inspiring week to see the voting results unfold and be in the center of it all. I can’t thank everyone enough for the support you’ve provided us with.
I’d like to share some reflections for how this week has been for me personally.
Because this was a contest and had only a few winners, there was a competitive aspect that couldn’t be ignored. That was a little difficult for me, because I favor cooperation over competition. But I realize that there is a place for contests like these, and it can have enormous positive benefits with the right intentions.
“Even if we don’t win this or finish in the top 5, this is an amazing opportunity to bring a great deal of awareness toward permaculture and the great work that UMass Permaculture is doing.”
That was my thinking the entire week. Did I want to win? Of course. That would mean even greater awareness about our program. But just being in the top 15 finalists is a win in itself. All of the teams we competed against are winners and I hope that all of their great projects get the recognition they deserve. Fortunately there are five teams and not just one that get to go to the White House. Yet we happened to finish with the most votes of all… but just barely! The University of Arkansas was neck and neck with us until the very end.
UMass permaculture program wins White House Campus Champions voting
By Scott Merzbach
March 6, 2012
AMHERST – When University of Massachusetts students eat meals at the Franklin Dining Commons, they can look outside to see some portion of their food growing in a nearby garden.
The concept of producing more food locally, putting more land to productive use and giving students a better understanding of where their food comes from has earned the UMass permaculture program national recognition as the winner of the White House’s Campus Champions of Change Challenge as the best embodiment of “the president’s goal to win the future.”
The results of online voting, in which UMass received 59,847 votes, means that the UMass permaculture program will participate in a March 15 ceremony in Washington, where members will be honored by President Barack Obama.