photo by fesoj
I. Towards a New Education
What we need is a well-grounded education, infused not only with ecological but spiritual awareness, which honours the sacredness of Earth and all its creatures including, in particular, the vital role played by trees, woodlands and forests in the well-being of human and planetary life.
Trees, in a Woodland or Forest setting, provide an ideal educational environment. They offer a directness of experience, highly beneficial in the awakening and development of human faculties and of an inspiring and life-enriching character that is not a possibility in any school room.
II. General Aims
TO PROMOTE AWARENESS:
To promote awareness of the value of living trees in the Earth’s eco-system and the consequences of their destruction.
To promote awareness of the value of living trees in local eco-systems and the consequences of their destruction.
To promote awareness of the values of individual tree species, of their unique gifts and qualities, as well as their values, growing in diversity, in woodlands and forests. To raise awareness not only of their commercial values in terms of the vast range of nutritional and medicinal crops they offer (and thus of their potential values in the context of local economies); but also of their social, cultural and spiritual significance for individuals and communities – that is, their values in the context of human well-being and culture.
To promote awareness of the negative and ecologically destructive aspects of mono-culture forestry, while promoting more wholesome and sustainable viable alternatives – which, while supporting wild life, serve local communities socially, culturally, and economically.
TO PROMOTE THE CREATION OF MULTI-PURPOSE FORESTS WHICH SUPPORT WILD LIFE WHILE SERVING LOCAL COMMUNITIES SOCIALLY, CULTURALLY, AND ECONOMICALLY.
TO PROMOTE THE PLANTING & CULTIVATION OF CROP-BEARING TREES & THE CREATION OF ORCHARDS & FOREST GARDENS:
To promote the planting and cultivation of crop-bearing trees and shrubs, locally, regionally and nationally, whether in the wild, on private estates, in cities, towns and villages, in residential, commercial and industrial areas, as well as in farming.
To promote concepts of Forest Gardening (multi-level crop-bearing trees and shrubs) and Forest Farming as the most productive, Earth-friendly, people-friendly, life-enhancing use of land in many circumstances; including the establishment of demonstration models for educational purposes.
To promote the planting of Orchards throughout the country, by individuals, private, public and commercial enterprises, as well as by town and county councils; at the same time, promoting the establishment of demonstration models for educational purposes; and inspiring local community initiatives.
TO PROVIDE SKILLS TRAINING:
To provide information, education, skills training and hands-on working experience, through workshops and courses, relevant to the above.
TO DEVELOP EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMES:
To develop educational programmes a) for people of all ages, b) for teachers and c) for specializing students (see below), including the production of course modules, in furtherance of the above.
TO CREATE & PROVIDE EDUCATIONAL MATERIAL:
To create and provide educational material for schools and touring exhibitions.
TO DISSEMINATE INFORMATION:
To carry out research, produce and distribute information as well as inspirational material, in furtherance of the above. This may include the provision of freely downloadable on-line material such as essays, instructional manuals and books.
TO CREATE DEMONSTRATION MODELS:
To create and promote the creation of Forest Gardens as demonstration models for educational purposes.
TO PIONEER NEW APPROACHES:
To explore working co-creatively with the intelligences of Nature. In doing so, to continue and extend the hugely successful but largely ignored pioneering approaches of Luther Burbank and George Washington Carver, leading horticulturalists of the last century.
To develop and be able to offer (uniquely) a post-graduate course in Tree Esoterics, providing information, perspectives and experiences currently unavailable in any institute of learning.
TO BRING INTO BEING A NEW TYPE OF UNIVERSITY:
To seed and/or lay the foundations for the bringing into being of a university wholly devoted to trees, University of the Living Tree – to be seeded locally and developed thereafter in different locations as a national and trans-national network of independent but related Faculties. See Tree University
III. Specific Aims in the Context of Local Community
(Near the Village of Sneem in the County of Kerry on the West Coast of Ireland, on a site known as “The Grove of Akademus”.)
TO CREATE AN EDUCATIONAL WOODLAND ENVIRONMENT:
Working with an awareness of the energies of place and co-creatively with the intelligences of nature, to create a magical woodland environment (including a Sacred Grove with native/Celtic trees) to serve as a venue for:
- In-Depth Nature-Experience Workshops
- Tree & Nature-Related Skills-Acquisition
& Project-Related Workshops & Courses
- Exploring Creativity in Nature
(Sculpture, Small-Scale Habitats,
Woodland Arts & Crafts)
- Other Cultural Activities in Nature
(Poetry, Music, Open-Air Theatre, etc.)
- Seasonal & Other Celebrations in Nature
(Celtic &/or Multi-Cultural)
- Meditative Retreats in Nature
- The Seeding of University of the Living Tree
& Some of its Faculties
TO CREATE A FOREST GARDEN:
To create a Forest Garden as a feature of the site, with plaques conveying details of species planted.
TO PROVIDE FACILITIES LOCALLY FOR THE ACQUISITION OF KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS & EXPERIENCE:
To provide tree-related educational workshops and courses, through which knowledge, skills and experience can be acquired while actively participating in local community and Earth-serving projects; for tree-lovers of all backgrounds, professions and ages.
TO INITIATE TREE-PLANTING ACTIVITIES IN THE LOCAL COMMUNITY
TO ORGANIZE TALKS & FILM SHOWINGS ON TREES, NATURE & ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES, IN THE LOCAL COMMUNITY
TO CREATE A LIBRARY:
To create a library containing a wealth of tree and nature-related material and environmental information.
NOTE: It is expected that through these initiatives there will be various spin-off benefits to the Local Community, as locals become actively engaged and (as these initiatives expand) others are drawn into the area.
image by Harper Stone