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Trillium Horticultural Park - An 85 Acre property on S. Rogers North of RCA Park (see map) owned by Monroe County but in the city limits of Bloomington.

Originally planned for a prison, it's now being revisioned for a multi-use facility which could include:

  •  Community gardens;
  •  Composting facility,
  •  Fields for horticulture crops and nursery of useful plants;
  •  Community orchards,
  •  Arboretum
  •  Botanical garden
  •  Indoor space for community classrooms, workshops & a farm school;
  •  Aquaculture;
  • A nursery of useful plants for city and residents;
  •  Water catchment ponds / wetlands;
  •  Urban forest (& polyculture forestry) training;
  •  Agri/hort tourism;
  •  Soil lab;
  •  Root cellars;
  •  A troubled youth horticultural therapy facility with dorms, gardens, offices, and classrooms integrated with the Horticulture Park.
  •  and more...

It's 100 foot elevation above the surrounding landscape provides potential for wind-power electrical generation and a great south-facing aspect for solar photovoltaic and heating.

A larger group of participators / investors / designers / entrepreneurs will create a lot more excitement about the prospects for this site. The adjacent RCA Park could become a valuable partner for hosting events to further the evolution and social potential of both landscapes.

This kind of land-use planning is clearly becoming an emerging trend arising as a community response to the economic, social, environmental and energy challenges being faced by cultures all over the planet. Bloomington is in a unique position to model a coherent vision for a relocalizing economic and social transformation to a stable and resilient community, able and ready to face the future while serving as an example to communities throughout the Midwest and beyond.

Other models for this kind of project, some well-advanced, some in planning, are the Intervale Center in Burlington VT, the Western North Carolina Farmers Market in Asheville (4 stars), the Myrick Hixon EcoPark in Lacrosse, WI., the Transition Putney – Green Village Eco-Park, England (.pdf) , the Downtown Houston Eco-Centric Park, the Dunhill Ecopark (England) (a very impressive mixed-use enterprise with a broad forward-looking social and economic vision), Agricultural Eco-Industrial Parks in China, and an Eco-Industrial/ Agricultural Park in Crestone Colorado.

This project would strengthen Bloomington's community food systems while preserving a great agricultural resource. By working with farmers to increase market access and viability, and promoting land use that protects our water quality the programs and services provided will build a regenerative, relocalized and independent food system that employs the people of Bloomington and adds value to local food and local landscapes.

 

The Trillium Horticultural Park is a project of The Center for Sustainable Living, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, tax-exempt organization. Contributions are tax deductible.

It is the mission of CSL to make available information, services, projects and networking opportunities for those interested in exploring ecologically sustainable ways of thinking, living and interacting in our community.

Please join CSL to support a relocalized and resilient Bloomington culture and economy.

 

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