Betsy Ferris Wyman was one of more than two dozen presenters at the annual Sustainability Symposium held at Darrow School in New Lebanon on Tuesday, April
Betsy Ferris Wyman was one of more than two dozen presenters at the annual Sustainability Symposium held at Darrow School in New Lebanon on Tuesday, April 26, 2011. (Eagle file)

NEW LEBANON, N.Y. -- Darrow School will host its fifth annual Sustainability Symposium, a day of cutting-edge environmental education and discussion, on Tuesday, April 23, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The forum is free and open to the public and will feature presentations on a wide range of topics by local and regional leaders in the green movement.

Organized by Craig Westcott, director of Darrow's Samson Environmental Center, the symposium is open to students and teachers from regional middle and high schools, as well as interested members of the community who want to learn about and discuss topics in sustainability, both local and global, with professional engineers, educators, chefs, farmers, filmmakers, architects, health and wellness professionals, and more.

"The goal of the day is for participants to emerge with information, contacts, and strategies that they can return with and apply to their own education and work," said Westcott.

The program will include a keynote address delivered by the students of the Mountainside Chapter of Rho Kappa, an international social studies honor society. This interactive presentation will focus on the work that Rho Kappa is doing to translate the U.N. Millennium Development Goals into relevant, actionable lifestyles for young people.

The session will be mediated by Norman Nicholson, Darrow School Class of 1955.

Formerly of the U.S. Agency for International Development, Nicholson is one of the members of the team that originally developed the Millennium Development Goals at the Development Assistance Committee in Paris in the late 1990s, and then worked with other development agencies to get them adopted by the United Nations.

Other topics include:

* The Energy and Economy of Solar Power

* Animal tracking with Flying Deer Nature Center

* Behind the Shaker Scene

* An Introduction to Permaculture Design

* Ecology Walk into Shaker Swamp

* Green Product Placement

* Sustainability at the U.S. EPA

* Greening the Learning Environment

* How to Harness Free Energy

* Building Naturalist Skills Toward a Sense of Place

* Outdoor Adventure and Environmental Service

A "Locavore Lunch" is available for $7 per person and requires an RSVP.

To register for the symposium or for more information, contact Sarah Fitzgerald, special events coordinator, at fitzgeralds@darrowschool.org or (518) 794-6000, or register online at www.darrowschool.org.