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UMass Permaculture conference opens in Amherst Sunday with talk by Majora Carter

The talk will be open to the public for a sliding scale donation.

The Permaculture Your Campus Conference 2013 takes place from Sunday through Wednesday with the keynote event in the UMass Campus Center auditorium. There will be a mixer with live music and light refreshments at 6 p.m., and the talk will start at 7 p.m.

Majora Carter is best known for founding Sustainable South Bronx (SSBx), a nonprofit environmental justice organization aimed to address economic and environmental issues in the South Bronx through “green job” training and community programs, according to the SSBx website.

The conference, organized by UMass Auxiliary Enterprises and the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, was started last year as a way to provide guidance and inspiration for schools looking to start their own permaculture initiatives.

The UMass Permaculture Initiative was founded in 2009, and today sustains three gardens on campus: the Franklin Permaculture Garden, the Worcester Herb Garden and the Class of 2012 Berkshire Permaculture Garden, according to the initiative’s website.

While last year the conference mainly focused on UMass Permaculture’s efforts on campus, conference planners said that this year models from a variety of campuses across the country will be showcased. Those include the University of Michigan, Florida Gulf Coast University, California Polytechnic State University, Texas State University and Greenfield Community College.

Tickets to Carter’s speech can be purchased at the door or online at www.umasspermacultureconference.com.

Registration for the conference is open until the keynote event. The cost for the three-day conference is $375 for students and $550 for professionals. Registration can also be done on the conference’s website. Those registered for the conference do not need to register separately for the keynote event.

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