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DCCCD Sustainability Summit: Saving the Planet Takes Generations

Via Anne Hatch, DCCCD Director of Media Relations

Toby Hemenway(Dallas) – Creating a culture that takes care of its people and the planet they live on takes vision that starts early and looks many generations into the future to ensure its success. That practice follows in the footsteps of the Iroquois, one Native American nation whose people believed that making decisions required them to look at least seven generations into the future and determine whether those choices would benefit those people who would come later.
The Dallas County Community College District’s 2014 Sustainability Summit will follow in those footsteps as well, going “Beyond Seven Generations” to provide a program that will explore sustainable practices, teach others about people who are working to save the planet and offer a number of free sessions on topics that will apply to daily living and sustainability efforts. Trane is a major sponsor for the 2014 DCCCD Sustainability Summit.
The free summit will be held on Wed., April 16, at North Lake College in Irving. Lunch will be provided, but registration is required so that participants can receive their free lunch. To register, visit
The one-day event will feature a keynote presentation by the nationally-known permaculture expert Toby Hemenway, who is the author of Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, plus workshops and sessions focusing on a variety of topics as well as exhibitors who will share information about their green products and services. Participants also can learn about women across the globe who have initiated environmental projects in their communities during a free showing of the movie documentary Arise. Poster sessions will give attendees a chance to learn about several school and community-based sustainability projects and programs.
Hemenway’s keynote presentation begins at 8:30 a.m. and will be held in the performance hall. A book signing, poster sessions and time with exhibitors is scheduled from 9:15 to 9:45 a.m., followed by breakout sessions at 10 and 11:15 a.m. After lunch, the movie Arise (80 minutes) will be screened at 1:15 p.m.; an outdoor session on North Lake’s community garden also will be presented at that time.
Hemenway, who has taught more than 60 permaculture design courses, has presented lectures and workshops at major sustainability conferences such as Bioneers, SolFest and EcoFarm; he also has lectured at Duke University, Tufts University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Delaware and many other educational venues. His book, Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, was awarded the Nautilus Gold Medal in 2011 and was named by the Washington Post as one of the 10 best gardening books of 2010. His writing also has been published in magazines such as Natural Home, Whole Earth Review and American Gardener.
The keynote speaker earned his biology degree from Tufts University. He worked as a researcher in genetics and immunology but eventually left biotechnology when he discovered the world of permaculture, which is a design approach that is based on ecological principles that create sustainable landscapes. After his career path changed, he and his wife, Kiel, spent 10 years creating a rural permaculture site in southern Oregon. The couple now lives in Sebastopol, Calif.
Arise presents the story of 13 women in five countries who have started environmental projects in their communities, towns and villages. A question-and-answer period, plus a panel discussion, are scheduled after the movie, which will be shown in room H200 in the Student Life Center.
Poster presentations and breakout sessions will be held in the T Building.
Poster sessions will explore North Lake College’s Recyclemania marketing campaign; synthetic versus natural dyes, presented by the Girl Scouts; graphic design and sustainability, presented by the Art Institute of Dallas; Phi Theta Kappa’s community garden; aquaponics; the Green Diploma; and “My Lawn Mower and Me.”
The morning breakout sessions include a variety of topics: DCCCD best practices in sustainability; the state of water in Texas; the Coppell Nature Park; zero waste; the “Cease the Grease” program; water conservation; integrating sustainability into the college curriculum; energy resources; electrical energy production and many other subjects.
Hemenway also will present a one-day workshop titled “Urban Sustainable Principles and Practices” the following day on April 17, at North Lake College, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Part of DCCCD’s Clean Economy Series, the program is $99; to register, visit
For more information, contact Georgeann Moss, who is coordinating the summit, at (214) 378-1823 or send an email to To register (required for this free event), visit