Quail Springs Permaculture is an amazing place with an amazing staff! By taking a course here, you are sure to receive world-class knowledge, as well as immerse yourself in a truly sustainable environment. All of the staff and residents are amazing intelligent people! The Chumash land that used to have flowing rivers with salmon, is now dried up. However, through the efforts of this research institute, they have managed to raise the level of their underground water table 10 feet! I had the pleasure and opportunity to document the 2012 ‘Sustainable Vocations for Youth’ course held at Quail Springs.
Here is an excerpt from their page:
In 1997, Warren Brush and Cynthia Harvan began a program for homeless youth, out of a shelter for families in Santa Barbara, California. Their aim was to support the healthy growth of youth, with diverse cultural, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds. Each year, the Wilderness Youth Project spent many a day in the Cuyama Valley tracking animals, building shelters, learning about earth skills, tending fires, stewarding the land they trod upon, mentoring and sharing stories.
In 2004, a former cattle ranch, with a dwindling spring, was secured through the generosity of a local Santa Barbara family foundation. Warren and Cyndi moved to the land to lead the caretaking and development of Quail Springs and the subsequent birth of a new non profit organization called True Nature Society.
Within one year of closing escrow, Kolmi Majumdar and Paul Swenson joined Warren and Cyndi. Since then, many other dedicated and inspired people have taken part in developing it into the organization that it is today.
When they arrived at Quail Springs in 2004, the land was heavily denuded from overgrazing of cattle. There was hardly a sign of life. The stream was dry during the daytime, and only flowed at a trickle, of about 3 gallons per minute, at night.
Since that time they have spent countless hours tending to the springs, and putting in riparian trees and plants which create living sponges that revivify the water table.
The Present & Our Hope for the Future
Now they are seeing a yearly average flow of about 40 gallons per minute during the day, and 60 gallons per minute at night. Wildlife is flourishing with the increased water supply. They know first hand, springs can be restored and rejuvenated. This gives them, and future generations hope, and a great reason to celebrate.
Quail Springs Permaculture is a gathering of sweet souls, who have dedicated their work to the multi-generational learning journey of seeding and tending the gardens of human land-based culture. They strive to live for the land, not just with it or from it.
As the story continues to unfold, Quail Springs Permaculture grows in its experience, sharing and influence. They now have offerings throughout California, and the USA, Europe, the Middle East, Australia and Africa, providing quality education programs, and germinating demonstration sites.”