These are some resources we provide as part of our training program.
What is the Ecovillage Training Center?
An ecovillage is only different from a traditional village in its ability to be sustained indefinitely into the future. In all other respects, it may have all of the features people in the industrial world have come to expect, like electric appliances, refrigeration, and videogames.
"It is a misconception that living in an ecological way involves sacrifice and hardship," says founder Albert Bates. "Many modern designs for buildings, vehicles, and new materials require no change in habit whatsoever, while reducing environmental impacts significantly."
ETC has hosted courses in permaculture, organic certification professions, herbalology, installing solar electricity and water heating, and yurt, bamboo, cob, earthbag, roundpole, and strawbale construction, biofuels, midwifery, an annual children's camp, and ongoing demonstrations in alternate energy, hybrid vehicles, constructed wetlands and sustainable farming. We inaugurated a student exchange program with Israeli kibbutz, Kazakh, Russian and Brazilian ecovillagers and a social justice program for training disadvantaged populations. We have ongoing projects in Palestine, Dominican Republic, Belize and South Africa that our graduates can become directly involved with.
The Ecovillage Training Center assists transition towards a sustainable society by instruction in meeting basic needs for food, shelter, energy, fuel, gainful employment, and community process and progress. It comes around to understanding the needs of Earth's natural systems and the human role in healing and helping.
ETC offers an immersion experience in sustainable living: courses and workshops, apprenticeships, and special demonstrations in green lifestyles. Set amongst the Farm's 5000 acres of protected woods and meadows, the Ecovillage Training Center is a living laboratory with a mandate to save the world. Sustainable technologies and principles surround you as you study and work throughout the training center---its eco-hostel, organic garden, forests, swales and ponds---in a permaculture consciousness, within an outstanding networking community of students and teachers.
ETC hosts courses with a mix of paying participants and social justice participants. Trainees from all over the world include foreign exchange students, disadvantaged and homeless children (Kids to the Country), students from Mexico and Central America, Israeli Kibbutzniks and Palestians, and Native Americans. Social justice participants are drawn principally from the surrounding 8-state mid-South region, with special focus on Nashville and Davidson County, where the Center works with the Green Neighborhoods Project and Earth Matters Tennessee. Seventy to 100 social justice program trainees take part in the program each year, with thousands of community residents affected. We are actively engaged with the relocalization and transition towns movements and bringing home that to our five-county surrounds.
We are always exploring ways that others, particularly corporate and foundation sponsors, can participate in the further development of our training and demonstration programs. Our immediate need is for sponsors and donors to help us help incipient ecovillage experiments throughout the world. An immediate goal is to foster the growth of the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN).