In earlier years one had to obtain a Privilege in order to use the public waterways. That term has since been changed to “License” which has changed our perceptions; thus devaluing in name the right that comes with access to our most precious resource as a species. Through this course, entrepreneur, innovator, businessman and Bennington alum Bill Scully will collaborate with Susan Sgorbati, Director of The Center for the Advancement of Public Action and Bennington College students and faculty on a feasibility study for the Village of North Bennington in order that the Village can return to the former, more appropriate idea of engaging our watershed rights as first and foremost a Privilege. The primary objective is to study self-funding the long-term health of the watershed by developing the hydroelectric potential contained within that very resource. The absence of such stewardship is causal to the contamination that local municipalities are now experiencing. This model will be a plan for similar municipalities who are interested in taking active stewardship of their watershed and will carry with it many other benefits including accessing, decontamination, fish passage, education, job creation, collaboration, long term infrastructure stability and of course improving the world by accessing the renewable energy that caused the Village’s formation.
This course is for intermediate/advanced students who are interested in renewable energy, global warming, hydrology, hydraulic modeling, architecture, anthropology, history, mathematics, conflict resolution, engineering, ecology and environmental science, complex project management, public relations, systems design, business modeling and public action. The class will be broken down in to groups based on individual strengths paired with project goals so interest in all areas is not a prerequisite. For some groups, confidentiality agreements may be required. For those students who are interested in hydrology or hydraulic modeling, please register for Tim Schroeder’s Environmental Hydrology course which will meet at the same time and collaborate with this course.
Unless we actively engage our watershed and secure a vested and sustainable interest in it, it will continue to be at risk.