Economy takes a big green bite out of Ashokan Center's plans

The Ashokan Center has been forced to scale back somewhat on its ambitious plans for its new arts and environmental education campus in Olivebridge, the Woodstock Times reports. But founders Jay Ungar and Molly Mason are making the best of it:

Alas, Ungar, Mason and crew have reigned in some of their original green have all of us, over the past year. There will be less road making than originally planned, more use of natural materials from the property, as well as nearby City road-moving projects, to help keep down costs. And instead of being completely energy self-sufficient, it will be a low energy campus...a compromise, but much better than it had been. Yet still a demonstrable learning tool for the many who will be educated about environmental issues at the Center.

"It's become a way more thoughtful design," Ungar said this week. "With five to six thousand school children coming through each year, we want the buildings to be part of the learning experience."

The center still has some fundraising to do, but hopes to begin construction this fall.

This weekend, the Ashokan Center hosts the first of four forest garden workshops with Appleseed Permaculture. And next weekend, they're celebrating Earth Day with a day of free nature and music events, kicking off bright and early with a 6:30am bird walk.