A Prescott College instructor and self-described “permaculture activist,” Andrew Millison is spearheading a neighborhood sustainability initiative in the Lincoln-Dameron Street area of Prescott, Arizona, that’s becoming known as “the EcoHood.” Six households have introduced sustainable measures, such as water harvesting and reuse, in their homes and gardens. Other neighbors are expressing interest.
Encompassing roughly two blocks, two apartment buildings and 30 houses, Prescott’s EcoHood is in a mid- to low-income neighborhood situated around Miller Creek. It’s home to six graywater systems, five rainwater cisterns, five organic gardens, 25 heirloom fruit trees, two turkeys, three ducks and 66 chickens.
Throughout the project, Millison has contributed expertise on graywater systems, rainwater catchment and permaculture design, and the eco-hood has unfolded organically, with neighbors swapping skills, information, tools, child care, chickens and compost. Plans are in the works for green student housing, permaculture designs for the neighborhood’s public space, and an affordable-housing apartment/condo complex with passive solar design.
“The way I see it, permaculture is a bridge between the wisdom of native peoples and modern society,” Millison says. “The EcoHood brings traditionally rural or tribal values—such as community, self-sufficiency and respect for the land—into the city.”