Use Edges and Value the Marginal

The edge of a forest, the line between trees and the path, is an indication of high biodiversity.

Just as in ecology, the edges and marginal can be used and valued in social and educational systems. Organizations such as Detroit Connections through the Stamps School of Art and Design utilizes and values partnerships that provide mutually beneficial resources to students and community members. People of different classes and Social Economic Statuses engage in work together to learn and create positive impacts: change that otherwise may not have been accomplished. The UM Permaculture Design Team is partnered with King Elementary staff and students in teaching permaculture-based experiential, hands-on education to 5th grade students. This partnership adds educational and economic value to the school’s property by building, maintaining, and utilizing a learning garden constructed on the edge between the forest and the school at King.  


Photo Credit- Rachael Gingerich


Photo Credit- Rachael Gingerich
King 3

Photo Credit- Neha Shaw“The interface between things is where the most interesting events take place. These are often the most valuable, diverse and productive elements in the system.

The icon of the sun coming over the horizon with a river in the foreground shows us a world composed of edges. The proverb “don’t think you are on the right track just because its a well-beaten path” reminds us that the most popular is not necessarily the best approach.” -Holmgren’s Permaculture Principles