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the route 250 project

Posted: January 13 2011

The Route 250 Fellowship
MISSION: Tricycle Gardens + Allegheny Mountain School work together to provide intensive training for young adults in sustainable agriculture and ecological systems development and management.
VISION: Everybody who completes the rural program will extend their knowledge to 10 people in an urban environment. This ripples outward, creating a new awareness of our relationship with ecological and agricultural systems.
Application DEADLINE: March 10th
First Round of Finalist made by : March 20th
Interviews Conducted: March 20th-March 30th
Final Decisions: April 1st
About the Fellowship Project
The Allegheny Mountain School (AMS) is a new endeavor of Tricycle Gardens, starting May 1st, 2011. For Year One, we are building a team of six fellows, who will live, work & learn on a beautiful farm, on the western edge of Highland County, Virginia. The AMS is 165 miles from the heart of Richmond, and approximately a 3.5 hour drive, over 7 mountain ranges. It is remote and magical. We will assemble a group of highly curious, hard working individuals, with complementary skills and experiences. The finalists will have a chance to visit the farm before deciding if they want to invest the next 18 months working with us. We will be spending 6.5 months (May 1 – Nov 1) at AMS studying this rural ecology and building the foundations of a long term permaculture project. The fellows will be immersed in a hands-on and experiential learning environment. Documentation of these six months will be an important part of this collaborative effort, and we will be building a website together. There is no charge for the housing or the program, and the fellows will be growing most of their own food. The closest large grocery store is 55 miles away, and there is a farmers market in Monterey, which is 12 miles from the farm.
After completing their time at AMS, the fellows each will receive a $1000 stipend, and then 5 will join Tricycle Gardens in Richmond VA, working with the Urban Ecology Lab, or a partner agency for 9-12 months, receiving a stipend of $1,250 per month. One (self selected by the group) will return to AMS in March of 2012 to be a lead coordinator of the programs.  At the end of the 18 month program, the skills gained will open many doors for future careers in sustainable development.  Year Two will be open to 8 fellows and run for 8 months at AMS, with 7 fellows returning to Richmond to work for a year, and one stepping in as lead coordinator at AMS.
The farm already has an existing infrastructure. Existing cabins, small orchards, fields, barns, sugar maple grove, springs and gravity fed water systems. There are headwaters of the James, Greenbrier and Potomac Rivers (a triple watershed divide). It has a unique ecosystem, great rainfall and is remote and peaceful for concentrated learning. This comprehensive and intensive program will expose the fellows to traditional skills and knowledge, current understandings about ecology and earth sciences, and encourage creative and innovative problem solving. We are designing a new future based on ecological systems thinking.
This intensive 18-20 month program & training builds an understanding of bio-diversity, economy, systems development, and leadership based on shared ethics. Limits of natural resources and the decline of our eco-systems are creating serious challenges for sustaining our current human systems, and we think that the opportunities for change are plentiful. Evolving our relationship with the abundance of resources nature provides creates a regenerative system.  We encourage a fundamental shift towards understanding systems thinking and leadership based on a deep-rooted knowledge of ecology.
Learn more here.