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Permaculture Society promotes ecological sustainability

Published: Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 13:05


Aaron montes / The Prospector

Raul Armendariz, president/chief cultivator of the Permaculture Society works with Maribel Diaz, independent of the organization in one of the permaculture projects.


aaron montes / The Prospector

The community garden at Ocotillo Hall allows students to learn the methods of permaculture and awareness through ecological sustainability.

   The Permaculture Society at UTEP is aiming to bring students together to promote ecological sustainability and community outreach striving for this Spring, as they officially became a registered student organization on campus.

Raul Armendariz, junior environmental science major and president/chief cultivator of the Permaculture Society said the main objective of the organization is to teach students about sustainability and apply different epilogue systems on campus.

“We want to promote awareness and the impact that permaculture can have on campus,” Armendariz said. “Our hands-on projects will help students get the experience of seeing sustainability in action.”

Armendariz said that the idea of creating an organization, dealing with the involvement of green projects and the outreach of ecological design systems was something he was genuinely interested in implementing on campus.

“Being a environmental science major, I have always been very attracted in gardening and eco-friendly projects that can benefit our community,” Armendariz said.     
In order to make this idea happen, Armendariz approached a representative at the El Paso Permaculture Group (EPPG) booth at the Neon Desert Music Festival.

“They helped me with the concept I wanted to create,” Armendariz said. “After that, I decided to get together with my roommates and they were pretty much on board with the idea, deciding to move with the next steps.”

Student officers, along with Armendariz, contributed in the development of the Permaculture Society,
Maribel Diaz, senior biological science major and vice president/sustainability regulator said that the society will not only introduce the trending movement of permaculture to many students that know little about, but it will also contribute to UTEP’s transition in keeping a greener and more environmentally friendly campus.

“Our current and future projects incorporate the ‘be green’ message, while also encouraging student involvement,” Diaz said. “The principles teach us about adopting a more sustainable and health conscious lifestyle, something every student can learn more about.”

Diaz, who was an active member of EPPG, said that the idea of permaculture was something she had always wished to see at UTEP.

“I was really excited when Raul was motivated to make this an official organization on campus,” Diaz said. “I quickly jumped on board and together with the rest of the officers, made it happen.”

Open to students from any major, Armendariz said that this is a great benefit to the organization.

“We have a very diverse group of students that are interested in this subject, bringing different skill levels, concepts and ideas to the table,” Armendariz said.

“We have students from computer science all the way to communication majors, and thanks to their different backgrounds, we are able to learn from each other, working together to improve the organization.”

Building individuals to become skillful and practice their leadership is something Armendariz would like for the organization to help interested members with.

“The community garden at Ocotillo Hall, that was first introduced to Miner Heights residents, has been a great opportunity that the organization has provided students with,” senior creative writing major Amber Morrison said. “Not only are we learning more ways to stay green but also about natural landscape that is being incorporated in our own backyard.”

According to Diaz, he expects that the Permaculture Society will increase student involvement in the next semesters.

“We will continue contributing to the centennial celebration,” Armendariz said. “Which is the drive that keeps the organization moving, ultimately increasing the level of sustainability that UTEP is working towards.”

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Andrea Acosta may be reached at

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