St. Lawrence University adds new benches in Canton
Thursday, May 8, 2014 - 9:09 am

CANTON -- Three rustic benches were recently added to the St. Lawrence University’s permaculture garden, a space meant to integrate people with the surrounding natural landscape.

According to Louise Gava, coordinator of sustainability projects and assistant director of the Sustainability Semester at St. Lawrence, the mission of the Fruit for the Future Permaculture Garden is to prove that landscaping on the St. Lawrence campus can be visually appealing as well as sustainable and productive.

The permaculture garden, which is located behind Common’s College at 78 Park St., will yield seasonal fruits, nuts, and herbs for humans while simultaneously providing a habitat for birds, insects and animals. The goal is for the garden to become a place of learning and respite for its visitors, benefiting both the campus and local communities.

The benches were built as part of the North Country Folk Series by Fred Peryer of Rustick Creations, who spent two days working with the university’s Curtin College first-year program students to design and construct the three rustic benches.

Made possible by a 2012 campus Innovation Grant, the benches were dedicated during an April 25 ceremony in the garden.

Permaculture, according to the grant proposal, is an ecological, holistic and sustainable design system and philosophy for human living spaces. Permaculture gardens use techniques and practices that combine the best of wildlife gardening, edible landscaping, and native-plant cultivation into one low-maintenance, self-contained and productive ecosystem.

Back row from left: Susannah (Annie) Gibbons, Louise Gava, Kathleen Buckley, Zelie Wright-Neil and Devon Gulbrandsen. Front row from left: Catherine Bennett and Heidi Pearson. Photo by Tara Freeman.