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World Help Training Center
About the Center
See also WHTC Tech Plan
The World Help Training Center is an ecologically centered community near Macon, GA, USA. It is sited on 30 acres and the community is currently working on residential housing and agricultural planning in advance of the 2009 spring planting season.
World Help Training Center is designed to be a living training center and Micro-Community ("The MiCom") created to serve the training needs of individuals preparing for sustainability based development projects around the world. The Center will focus on providing training in how to develop affordable alternatives of socially and physically sustainable, ecologically friendly and economically attainable communities. Within the Center, our specific focus will be on Social Tech (tools to help individuals transition to sustainable value/behavior based living) construction, agriculture and light husbandry, alternative energy, clean water, transportation and micro-commerce. The MiCom is designed to be a micro-community developed on the model of an "intentional community."
The MiCom will be comprised initially of the members of the Center's development team and their families but in general it will be made up of individuals who: a) are concerned for the practical dimensions of sustainability, b) share a common intention of spiritual, physical and emotional growth and wellbeing, c) are concerned and committed to focusing on the physical, emotional and spiritual dimensions of sustainability, and d) are committed to the development of internal commerce that will fund sustainability. We anticipate that initially all MiCom members will work for the Center, but initially many may work off-site or have their own micro-enterprises that can be managed onsite. In addition we anticipate that initially there may be Center employees that do not live within the MiCom, but the eventual goal will be that all Center employees live within the MiCom.
We strongly hold that the Center and MiCom will be a living laboratory that never fully completes or realizes our ideals because they will be continually evolving. New ideas and technology will challenge us to continuously implement new and challenging techniques and training programs within the Center and the MiCom. Because we hold this true, we believe the Center and MiCom will be a place for continued learning, research and the resulting growth.
The ultimate goal of this project is to educate and facilitate social, economic, environmental, community and spiritual renewal.
The community will be designed as a convertible community, one that supports a regular residential population but that can rapidly convert to accommodate a higher density residential population in times of crisis or disaster or during the training seasons where the facility coordinates a diversity of onsite training. This will be done by designing the infrastructure so that it can be convertible also. Their will be strategically placed wells and plumbing installed so that simple connections can be made at each of the convertible dwelling pods. The pods will be designed on the site plan and a some sites will have picnic platforms installed. These platforms can become a tent/yurt platform but also serve as the foundation for an eventual straw bale permanent structure as the need dictates. The platform design will allow for easy installation of plumbing and electrical components through the floor for semi permanent and permanent structures with maximum ease.
The integrated agriculture plan will utilize technology and intelligent design to minimize the amount of landscape necessary for food sustainability. The residential portion of the community will include a community garden plot but also gardens in each housing pod/cul-de-sac that could accommodate the residential demand in an efficient manner. The community garden would allow additional production and accommodate advanced sustainability technology including barrelponics production centers that will allow the production of farm-raised fish and aquaponic produce production. The garden will incorporate wild food and perennial food production which ensure a continuously replenishing supply of food. Seed harvesting will ensure a continuous availability of quality seeds for ongoing agriculture.
The community design would integrate intelligent farming which would include fast growing timber crops like Mosa Bamboo to accommodate the needs for building. In addition, there will be fields for straw production to also accommodate the building needs. Within five years the bamboo and straw production will be at the level of sustainability.
Additional land allocation will be devoted to crops that promote sustainability. Fruit orchards, Tung nut trees and algae production are all areas that have been suggested and that could possibly be integrated during the initial five years of development. At the five-year milestone, we anticipate that production could be such that it could support approximately 90% of the community needs from within the community. The standard operating principles are that surplus production is sold or exchanged for resources necessary for sustainability and then for cash or reserve supplies or barter credits.
During the development the social network will be integrated which will include education. Ongoing training will be provided in permaculture and sustainability skills and development. In addition educational systems will be developed to accommodate the elementary and secondary education needs of the community, including the development of a library to facilitate K-12 education.
- Land acquisition is complete
- Basic infrastructure work (water supply etc.) is ongoing.
- Engineering and design team is assembled and preparing 2009 implementation plans.