About us

The Permaculture Living Lab

We're a group of highly enthusiastic faculty, students, community members and staff working together to realize their dream of creating a model of regenerative living and education at SUNY Oswego. We have been inspired a great deal by the U-Mass Amherst Permaculture Initiative. Check out their energizing journey to create the permaculture garden on their campus that inspired SUNY Oswego's lab through their three-part documentary. Take a look at our vision for our own Permaculture Living Lab in this presentation.

At our core, SUNY Oswego's permaculturists are committed to increasing the quality of life for all Oswego community members and anyone this lab reaches.

What does this mean for students, or any Oswegonian? 

  • It is open to the community to harvest food and learn from
  • The community can be involved with the maintenance, solutions, and projects/research in the garden.
  • It can be up to the community of what food (apples, raspberries, etc.) or ideas to incorporate sustainably into the garden.
  • The outdoor commons includes Wi-Fi and a place to enjoy the environment.


Adjacent to the Shineman Center, Lee Hall and Wilber Hall, the PLL sits in an area highly trafficked by students of STEM and education programs, but its proximity to recreational facilities in Lee Hall makes it an ideal place to stop for a healthy snack before or after a workout! In this location's current state, the site could be considered marginal land in that the soil is in poor condition and the landscape is prone to erosion and flooding.

Map of SUNY Oswego Campus

Campus map with PLL site highlighted in yellow

Why place a living lab on what could be considered a not-so-ideal space? The way the PLL is designed will actually vastly improve this landscape, adding considerable nutrients to the soil; in fact, the more the PLL is developed and used, the better the soil will become. Additionally, the PLL will be shaped with the landscape. Instead of forcing the environment to "behave" by adding drains and wasting the precious resource of storm water by directing it away from the site, we will use the slope to our advantage, installing specially designed Hugelkultur beds to catch and store water to help plants grow on the site.

Birds eye view of PLL