PLC anniversary fundraiser another successful event for land and water conservation. Over eighty quests and supporters joined our board for a Cajun Boil at Luther Springs on Lake Vause. Music by “Dim Lights” and Florida cracker story-telling provided entertainment for the attendees. Updates concerning conservation efforts and changes in our board were announced. Mr. Robert Virnstein was elected as our new President, with Tim Keser agreeing to serve as Vice-president for another term. Lisa Modola continues as our secretary and former president Claude Brown has assumed the role of Treasurer. The highlight of announcements was that Willy The Losen has stepped off the board so he could be hired by PLC as our first Conservation Director to coordinate our land acquisition and donation program.
Earlier this year, PLC conducted its sixth annual Florida Earthskills Gathering at Little Orange Creek Nature Park, Feb. 17-21st in Hawthorne. This year’s event again brought about 800 people (many who camped out for the five-day event) from near and far for this environmental education event. It has become a national event and one of the largest of its kind in the country. The gathering focuses on teaching sustainable and simple living skills, ecology, woods skills and creating meaningful Earth-based community. Rediscovering the sustainable skills of past generations (including the Stone Age) is a large focus of the gathering. There were more than 200 workshops most of which offered “hands-on” instruction.
One important aspect of the Gathering was to be a living example of the skills and ideologies being taught. These were incorporated into the infrastructure and daily life at the gathering. All food was cooked with wood mostly on stoves carved out of the earth, participants were asked to pack out their own waste, all kitchen scrapes were composted, much of the infrastructure utilized natural building techniques using natural materials, and much of the food was from local sources.
Early mornings offered dawn yoga, stretching and birding classes. There were two main workshop sessions during the day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, as well as demonstrations during that time. There were about 75 instructors, many of them experts in their fields, including Green Deane”. The 200 plus workshops included topics for all ages and for a wide variety of interests. A sampling of subjects included ecology, botany, mycology, basket making, organic gardening, herbal medicine, wild edible plants, primitive pottery, bamboo flutes and didgeridos, carving, crochet, food preservation, finger weaving, native nutrition, yoga, bee keeping, tool sharpening, timber framing, Native American style beadwork, elder wisdom, knot tying, massage, fire by friction, tracking, flint knapping and drumming. For a detailed list of the classes taught go to www.floridaearthskills.org/classes/.
This year’s gathering was a great success as it garnered local as well as national attention for PLC and Little Orange Creek Nature Park and provided participants the knowledge and skills to live more harmoniously on the Earth.
General Putnam Land Conservancy Facts:
Putnam Land Conservancy, Inc. was established in 2006 as all volunteer non-profit Land Trust
Directly Participated in the purchase of 3300 acres for placing into conservation
Currently owns 694 acres
Perpetual Conservation Easements on 160 acres
Active land conservation projects currently in 5 counties