The Radix Ecological Sustainability Center is a federally recognized 501(c)3 not-for-profit educational organization. The mission of the Radix Center is to promote ecological literacy and environmental stewardship through educational programs based around demonstrations of sustainable technologies.
At the Radix Center, we believe it is possible to meet human needs while simultaneously restoring ecosystems. Good environmental stewardship is rewarded by better health, wholesome food, and strong communities. The Radix Center teaches practical skills that can be applied to create environmental and economic sustainability. An emphasis is placed on issues of food security, health, and the remediation of contaminated soils.
Located on a ½ acre former vacant lot near downtown Albany, the main educational building is a 20 foot by 60 foot solar greenhouse, built in 2011. Sustainable systems on display include:
- Bioshelter/Greenhouse heated by passive solar and bio-thermal sources for year round food production
- Bioremediation: utilization of the biological processes of naturally occurring organisms to remediate contaminated soils
- Rainwater collection for irrigation and urban water quality improvement
- Renewable energy systems: affordable wind, solar, and small scale biofuels
- Microlivestock: sustainably raised chickens, ducks, goats, and pigeons
- Aquaculture: aquatic plants and fish raised in a closed loop nutrient recycling system
- Compost: conversion of food wastes into soil building fertilizer
- Vermicompost: use of worms to produce high quality fertilizer from food wastes
- Food forest and organic gardens: intensive, sustainable urban food production
- Apiculture: raising bees for the purposes of crop pollination and honey production
The Center offers hands-on workshops and tours to area school groups and interested citizens throughout the Northeast.
We designed and offer RUST: the Regenerative Urban Sustainability Training. Nearly 650 people have attended this popular weekend-long immersion. In this class, Scott Kellogg and other sustainability experts give attendees a “toolbox” of techniques and knowledge to create sustainable systems in their own communities. Through a combination of group hands-on activities and lectures, participants learn how to build infrastructure for self reliance by utilizing salvaged and recycled materials. These systems can be applied in either urban or rural environments, and in many cases can even be put to use in an apartment.
In December of 2010 the Radix Center launched the Community Compost Initiative (CCI). The CCI is a weekly compost pickup service for Albany residents and businesses. Organic waste is diverted from the overburdened Rapp Road Landfill and instead composted onsite at the Radix Center.
We have recently purchased product liability insurance, and begun growing microgreens, pea shoots, and other high end products for local restaurants, and delivering extra produce and eggs in the neighborhood and along our compost pickup route.
Since September of 2011, over 2000 people have visited the Radix Center through organized workshops, class trips, open houses, and casual drop-ins. Classes from the Albany Montessori Magnet School, the Albany Free School, Woodland Hill Montessori School, Albany County Opportunity Inc. Olivia Rorie Head Start have attended workshops at the Radix Center, as well as youth groups from the Albany Howe Library, 15Love, Youth Organics, Troy Produce Project, Living Resources, and the Siena College High School Scholars Program. Numerous college students have also attended workshops at the Radix Center, including student groups and classes from Skidmore College, Renssellaer Polytechnic Institute, the College of Saint Rose, Bloomfield College, the State University of New York at Albany, the College at Oneonta (SUNY), and the College at New Paltz (SUNY).
The Radix Center has been featured in articles in the Times Union, All Over Albany, the Schenectady Gazette, and the Knickerbocker Ledger. The Radix Center has received Constellation Energy’s EcoStar Award, and was also the winner of the All Over Albany/Sunmark Credit Union Startup Grant Competition to build a recirculating aquaculture system. Executive Director Stacy Pettigrew and Educational Director Scott Kellogg were named 2010’s Local Heroes by the alternative newsweekly the Metroland for their work with the Radix Center.