Mark your calendars! Homestead National Monument of America is planning an exciting series of programs commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Homestead Act over Labor Day Weekend, September 1 & 2, 2012.Programs at 1 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm each day at the Education Center featuring living homesteaders along with modern day homesteaders who will be sharing their experiences from the past and present to see how homesteading will continue to shape our future.The Homestead Act of 1862's continuing legacy will be honored by those who benefitted first hand through their acquisition of land, and those who are modeling their lives on the principals and values put forth by the homesteaders who preceded them.All programs are free and great for the whole family.
The weekend will featurean opportunity to meet the last homesteader in the United States, Mr. Ken Deardorff.Mr. Deardorff homesteaded in Alaska in the 1970's, receiving the patent for his land in 1988.While time and geography may have changed over the 123 year history of the Homestead Act, endurance, fortitude, and resolve are timeless characteristics required by all homesteaders.In addition to Mr. Deardorff, numerous living homesteaders will be on hand to share their stories and answer your questions.This will be a one of a kind opportunity to interact with the individuals who made history.
Furthermore, this special program will be marked by representatives from a growing movement promoting sustainable living practices by invoking traditional homestead principles.Homesteaders were required to produce all of their necessities, of which food, water, and shelter were paramount.Today's Modern Homesteaders are reviving that spirit as the global systems many depend on for these necessities become more fragile.Join these modern day homesteaders to learn how they are looking to the past to build a better future.
Renee Wilkinson, bestselling author of the book Modern Homestead: Grow, Raise, Create, will provide the feature presentation.Mrs. Wilkinson will share her incredible story of sustainable living, and provide information that anybody can incorporate into their lives to live in a healthier more sustainable community.You don't have to have a green thumb or have acres and acres of land to be a modern homesteader; in fact many of these practices are applicable and easily incorporated into our busy urban lives.Ms. Wilkinson will also host a special book signing for those who want to meet this extraordinary pioneer who has made it her mission to revive the principles of our past to ensure a healthier, more sustainable future.
In addition, Joyce Coppinger, Executive Director of Green Prairie Foundation for Sustainability out of Lincoln, Nebraska, will examine the importance of sustainable building materials and the use of renewable resources in architecture and the design of our homes and buildings.Ms. Coppinger is developing cutting edge technology that incorporates the values and principals of America's pioneers by designing architecture that integrates the landscape and renewable materials to build lasting, modern, and energy efficient structures and homes.
And lastly, Lyn Seiser from the Omaha, Nebraska based community garden organization, The Big Garden, will examine the important role of cooperative local food production.Founded in 2005, The Big Garden's mission is to improve nutritional health and facilitate community development in the Omaha metro area by building the capacity of community organizations, congregations, and schools through the act of gardening.Each site has its own goals and gardening style. Some gardens have individual beds, while others are shared by gardeners or by children at a school. Some gardens give their produce to a food pantry, while others prefer to have each gardener harvest from their own plot.Learn how these increasingly popular institutions are benefitting urban and rural communities across the country!