Crossroads at Big Creek is establishing a Land Restoration School (LRS, landrestorationschool.org) to provide educational immersion in the principles, practices and planning of ecological restoration for degraded lands.
The LRS is designed to teach a cohort of six to 12 adults every year. Participants may be those who are refining or redirecting college experiences, following a noncollege learning path or seeking a career change, but all will share a goal of working in ecological restoration or an affiliated field.
Crossroads approached Dan Collins and Nancy Aten, owners of Landscapes of Place, to be the LRS’s founding directors.
“The Land Restoration School responds to a need in Door County and beyond,” Aten said. “For the well-being of our communities and the Earth, and to combat climate change and habitat destruction, we need to teach and share the knowledge of how to reclaim and restore degraded lands, and we need skilled people doing this critical work.”
This year’s eight-week session will run June 13 – Aug. 5 at Crossroads. During its inaugural year, LRS students were invited to apply based on recommendations from Crossroads board members, staff and colleagues.
Participants will receive an immersive, hands-on education in the classroom and in the field, lodging and a paid fellowship stipend. The curriculum follows the Society for Ecological Restoration framework in planning and practice, and the LRS is funded initially through private donations.
Chris Young of the Urban Ecology Center Institute, Alverno College and UW-Milwaukee serves as the LRS’s curriculum chair and is guiding the faculty in developing learning objectives and assessment processes.
The LRS’s first community offering is a faculty talk by Young on May 4, 6:30 pm, at the Collins Learning Center at Crossroads, 2041 Michigan St. in Sturgeon Bay.