Arkansas Group PhotoIt’s not everyday that people come together and build with each other. Not in these “modern times” at least; however, that is precisely what happened this last week outside of Little Rock, Arkansas. More than 40 people came together to learn, connect, have fun, and share in the experience of building a 5,300 SF Eco Solar Learning Center at the Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center. With a common goal in mind (to bale and plaster the Eco Solar Learning Center), the group put out an amazing effort to bale a space that will help teach both adults and children about living green, getting power from the sun, and the effects of our actions and inactions on the earth we all walk on together.

Solar CenterPeople from different walks of life and different countries came together to work side by side. What we received was far more than an education in straw bale construction. We connected with each other and gained friendships that span across borders to Mexico and across the seas to the UK. We learned about different religions from Prespatarian Christians to Buddhists.  We worked side by side with young adults volunteering their service through Americorps, as well as with retired men and women, architects, builders, and many other individuals: again, all inspired by a common goal.

AmeriCorps VolunteerThis week was inspiring, fun, and full of accomplishments. I can’t think of a better way to start the workshop season! I want to personally thank each participant, cook, organizer, child, and anyone else who was a part of this week for making my first trip to Arkansas so memorable. It was an honor to be part of this community and such a wonderful cause: teaching sustainability to our youth and adults. This lesson is so very needed in our time.

To visit Ferncliff Camps Facebook page to see more photos of this workshop and find out more about this amazing organization, please click here.


About the Author

Andrew Morison is a specialist in straw bale and green construction. He has shown thousands of people how to build their own straw bale projects through his comprehensive series of instructional straw bale, concrete foundation, and plastering DVDs, as well as his hands on workshops. You can check these out at

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