FCE Takes Key Step in developing its Environmental Learning & Training Center in Beverly MA

IMG_4204The nonprofit Full Circle Earth, which I am involved with as a board member and volunteer, has “raised the roof” of its new training and research facility in Beverly MA. This involved installing a plastic greenhouse membrane to complete the greenhouse construction which began in June 2014.

My colleague, friend and fellow Arcosanti Arizona alum, FCE executive director James “Jimi” Carnazza has been leading this effort. Thanks also to the volunteers whose work was pivotal in making this effort a success.

The goal of this facility is to enable research and development in Aquaponics, Worm Composting and Compost Tea for promoting local and sustainable food production. These are the initial focus points towards promoting a more comprehensive/holistic approach to sustainable farming and living in the North Shore region of Metro Boston.

Our work will include the sharing of relevant appropriate technologies developed at the facility, through workshops, community outreach opportunities as well as k-12 programs, working with local schools as well as programs that cater to special needs students.

We also just got certified as Tax Exempt nonprofit by the IRS. So you can now make a tax deductable donation to support our work via PayPal: http://www.fullcircleearth.org/fce-news/donate-to-fce/
For more about the project and our work please go to FCE’s website: http://www.fullcircleearth.org.

Stay tuned for more news and updates as we further develop this project.


Arconauts Mull Pros and Cons of I-17 & AZ 69 Intersection Construction

The Arizona Department of Transportation decided to  “honor” of Arcosanti and Paolo Soleri by impressing his art on a large public works project design to improve traffic flow at intersection where Arizona state highway 69 forks out from Interstate 17 in Cordes Junction. Arcosanti is a tourist draw close to the interchange and so putting Soleri’s art on the concrete is really a no brainer. Not everyone will realize that the art is Soleri but it helps to reinforce and canonize Arcosanti as a tourist must see in Arizona.

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Arcosanti Greenhouse Effort Focuses on Building Raised Beds & Adding Soil Mix

Work on Arcosanti Greenhouse Continues – We continued to sort and haul compost for the hoop greenhouse that is located above the Guestrooms at Arcosanti this week. Preliminary soil test were done using the “compost tea method.” We also determined the mixing ratio for the raised beds which are about 50 completed: 1 part silt, 1 part compost from the Arcosanti Gardens/Camp and 1 part vermiculite. Later once we get more thorough testing done we can determine any specific soil amendments that need to be added. Also Starlyn Cag a former alum based on Newfoundland Canada is working with us to explore the possibility of entering into the 2011 Holcim Awards Competition focusing on innovative sustainable projects.

Tucson Raw Milk Dairy Looks for a New Location – My colleague Tracy McQuade on the Arcosanti adhoc Energy Apron Greenhouse Team noted that a raw milk dairy in Tucson is looking for a new location. She suggests that we could use the compost in such a operation. However, we would have to consider the challenges of locating a dairy operation at Arcosanti.

2010 CleanTech Open Coming up – the launch for this years competition starting in about a week: http://www.cleantechopen.com/app.cgi/content/competition/business/eligibility

Ecocity Builder Founder Richard Register Drops byEcoCity Builder’s founder, Richard Register dropped by Arcosanti on Wed. He came by to do an interview for a documentary about Arcosanti and Paolo Soleri (see trailer here) which he mentions in his recent newsletter. Register has been a supporter of Paolo’s work over the years and featured him prominently in his recent book.

What’s interesting about the newsletter is that he talks about distinction between his definition of Ecocity and other terms such as green or sustainable city which has often been used as an interchangeable. According to his perspective they are not because the idea of Ecocity like Arcology implies a fundamental change in how we see the modern city.

While many in city planning circles use the term “ecocity” interchangeably with “green” or “sustainable” city, Ecocity Builders uses a definition of “ecocity” conditional upon a healthy relationship of the city’s parts and functions, similar to the relationship of organs in living complex organisms. We believe “ecocities” need to take healthy organic, ecological and whole systems lessons seriously to be able to reverse the negative impacts of climate change. A set of principles, standards, and metrics, as well as good models demonstrating ecocity elements is vital in bringing clarity regarding the definition of an “ecocity”.

To that end, in partnership with our international network of ecocity colleagues and associates, Ecocity Builders is launching the International Ecocity Standards (IES) project to define “ecocities” by developing a set of standards, criteria and metrics against which to evaluate and guide new and existing cities’ progress towards becoming an “ecocity.” International Ecocity Standards will evaluate different scales of development, from the small neighborhood scale to the regional scale. Similar to LEED green building standards, the Ecocity Standards will rate urban development at various levels of attainment.

More here on this here.

Rapid Set Offers a Greener Hydraulic Cement – iGreenBuild.com reports that Rapid Set holds promise as a alternative to Portland Cement. Its a greener hydraulic cement primarily because it has a much smaller carbon footprint than portland cement. In its manufacturing process, it generates far less carbon dioxide (CO2).

12.06.08 | Phoenix Central Library: Linear City Panel Discussion

At 2PM on Saturday at the Burton Barr Central Library about 100 people gathered (including numerous Arcosanti residents and alumni) to hear a discussion regarding a proposal by Paolo Soleri and Nadia Begin to develop a form of Arcology city called the Lean Linear City.

The panelists at the event included: Paolo Soleri with assistance with his presentation from Architect Nadia Begin and Arcosanti Site Coordinator Mary Hoadley; Arizona Department of Transportation rail transportation planner Rakesh Tripathi; David Muench a photographer championing the strength and beauty of the desert southwest including Arizona Highways; and Arizona State University Professor John Meunier. After the presentations we had a break which was followed by a discussion by the panelists that included Q&A.
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First City in Arizona to Adopt a Zero Waste Resolution
November 12, 2008 Sedona AZ. This week at their regular City Council meeting Sedona AZ’s City Council unanimously approved a Zero Waste Resolution. Sierra Club Sedona-Verde Valley’s chairperson and member of the Sierra Club’s national Zero Waste Committee, Marlene Rayner presented the principles and benefits accruing from participating in a Zero Waste program (see http://www.arizona.sierraclub.org for details).
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