~~Transforming Suburbia/

Permaculture In Action~~

~~Finding Common Cause ~~
~~Hands On Skill Building ~~

Jan SpencerJan Spencer

Note – These three presentations are closely related.

Transforming Cities, Suburbia, N’hoods and Permaculture in Action Co Host “Transforming A Suburban Property”

Common Cause – “Allies and Assets for Transforming Suburbia”

Hands On – “Property Repair – Rain Water Catchment, Concrete Removal, Solar Redesign, Sheet Mulch, Vertical Plants

Suburbia is a defining icon of  American culture and essential to the economy as we know it.  Half of all Americans live in suburbia and it employs tens of millions of people. We cannot afford it. The deepening trends of our times – economy, culture, natural environment in decline, resource depletion, climate change, global relations under stress  -  all have a robust connection to suburbia.  Suburbia has a massive social and ecological footprint.  The short story is, there is urgent need to quit building more suburbia and at the same time, repair what is already here.

This presentation will show and tell an eleven year transformation of a quarter acre suburban property in Eugene.  The grass is gone.  Automobile space is reclaimed. Vertical and horizontal edible landscaping is all over.  The place has passive solar redesign, a 6500 gallon rain water catchment system, detached solar bungalow.  Useful amounts of important daily needs are taken care of on site.  Home economics has been given new meaning. The place is aesthetically appealing and has become a destination for hundreds of people by way of  tours,  classes, curious neighbors, out of town visitors and media.
The presentation will touch on why transform a suburban property and briefly, “how to”, highlights, low lights, multiple benefits, whats current and more.  The presentation is intended to encourage others to make these kinds of changes where they live. [note - Join us at Hands On Skill Building at 11 AM Saturday for more detailed "how to" transform a suburban property]  Finally, the presentation will touch briefly on expanding these ideas and ideals into the neighborhood and community. [note - Saturday at 9, "Allies and Assets for Transforming Suburbia" will pick up where Transforming a Suburban Property leaves off]

Allies and Assets for Transforming Suburbia

Transforming a single property is great but its only a beginning.  This presentation, at 9 AM Saturday morning,  will describe ways for taking “local and green” ideals, values and actions into the neighborhood.  Core to those actions is defining our own priorities – we are our own zone O asset.

The presentation will briefly touch on property conversion. Then a description of  entities common in many towns and cities – neighborhood programs and neighborhood associations, emergency preparedness and mapping your neighborhood, CERT training, Neighborhood Watch and city volunteer programs.  Also explained, social actions in the form of work parties, place making and the emerging trend of citizen volunteers picking up where city budgets leave off.  Front yard gardens receive special attention. Also a important is economics -  transforming suburbia can provide millions of good jobs.  Finally, we will have a look at faith communities, human potential and multiple benefits.

Hands on Transforming a Suburban Property – Rain Water Catchment, Concrete Removal, Solar Design, Sheet Mulching, Vertical Plants and More

Transforming his 1/4 acre suburban property in Eugene for eleven years has been a passion and joy for Jan.  He has learned a great deal by direct experience. This hands on session, will feature slides and selected implements and tools.  The session will touch on  the basics of trading grass for garden, site design, shaping plants to available space, rain water catchment, passive solar design, concrete removal, metal roof installation, home economics, food storage, insulating curtains, managing the place as a community educational resource and more. This will be more show and tell rather than presentation, for answering questions and encouraging others to make big changes where they live.”

Jan Spencer has been a resident of Eugene, Oregon for 20 years, a transplant from Texas. He has a degree in Geography and has traveled out of the country for over 5 years in 35 countries.  He speaks conversational Italian and has surfed in over seven oceans, seas and gulfs. He also enjoys public speaking and outreach. Contact him about presentations. His views and perspectives are a fusion of economics, environmental concerns, urban land use, human potential and spirituality.  He has been on the board of his neighborhood association for ten years.  Jan’s PC Intensive was in Austin, Texas in 1992.

Jan has produced a timely DVD called “Global Trends – Local Choices” and three educational posters [available via pay pal on his website]    1] Transforming A Suburban Property, 2] Front Yard Gardens – A Simple Act, Impressive Benefits, 3] Creating a Safer, More Secure and Healthier Neighborhood. see www.suburbanpermaculture.org Note – Jan will donate 25% of on site poster sales to the Convergence.

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