Western Iowa learning center for sustainable farming folds


May 8th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An organic school in western Iowa has folded less than two years after opening.

The Burr Oak Center for Durable Culture on the edge of Turin was devoted to teaching about sustainable farming and fuel conservation. It opened in fall 2009 and closed its doors late last month amid what organizers call community resistance. Executive director Michael Luick-Thrams says neighbors were opposed to solar panels planned for the center, considering them eyesores, and complained about the long grass and the bevy of frogs, dragonflies and butterflies it attracted.

He says the community wasn’t receptive to its missions and the opposition was difficult to contend with as the center fought to attract employees and a steady stream of interns.

Community leaders couldn’t be reached for comment.