Aprovecho Sustainability Education Center is located on a beautiful forty-acre land trust outside of Cottage Grove. The name means “I make best use of” in Spanish, inspired by the creation and sustenance of human culture that the early founders observed in their international development work. Aprovecho’s land and its community of educators is a regional resource for researching, demonstrating, and educating the techniques and strategies of sustainable living.
Aprovecho’s mission is “Living, Learning, Organizing, and Educating to Inspire a Sustainable Culture.” Their goal is to provide the education, skills, and resources needed for our students to build sustainable livelihood within a regenerative, resilience-based economy.
Thirty years after its founding, the center serves as an inspiration for the hundreds of students, visitors, and volunteers that make use of its facilities. Aprovecho offers many different opportunities for engagement, from the yearly publication of its “New from Aprovecho” newsletter, to monthly open house tours, weekend workshops, overnight trips for youth, and residential programs in Permaculture and Natural Building.
Programs include permaculture, which is a whole-systems method of design that organizes strategies and techniques from agriculture, appropriate technology, natural building, economics, and other disciplines into a pattern of mutually supportive relationships that helps us create sustainable places to live.
Aprovecho’s Permaculture programs emphasize hands-on learning and focus on the design and establishment of resilient farms, forests, homesteads, communities, and businesses. Classes occur within the context of our 30 acre educational land-trust, a thirty year-old model of community scale Permaculture, and the surrounding neighborhood of sister farms and homesteads within the Hazelton valley.
Aprovecho’s Natural Building Program is a design/build school offering educational opportunities in the design and construction of energy efficient structures using locally-sourced, non-toxic materials. Trainings are offered both for the do-it-yourself home-builder as well as students pursuing a career as a designer/builder. Class topics cover all components of home construction as well as skills associated with drafting, design and business development. Whether you are just starting out in natural building or already have experience in the construction field, there are many diverse educational opportunities offered throughout the year.
Many other programs are offered, as well. Click the Learn More link for details!