Bellyacres: A Model of Community Sustainability in Hawaii

Since 1987 Bellyacres has been a nonprofit educational organization exemplifying the definition of sustainability according to the Hawai’i 2050 Sustainability Plan, “A Hawai‘i that…. Respects the culture, character, beauty and history of our state’s island communities; Strikes a balance between economic, social and community, and environmental priorities; Meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Bellyacres serves as a sustainability demonstration model featuring a community based, community run arts center and many of the world’s best applications of sustainability for small-scale communities. Bellyacres is a sustainability experiment as successful as the famous Earthships Greater World Community (GW) in Taos, New Mexico. Both communities have solar power and rainwater catchment systems and have built low-impact dwellings out of local and recycled materials. Bellyacres’ sustainability goes even further with locally appropriate organic food production, beehives, horses to mow the grass, fertilize and compost with manure, chickens that feed on coconuts and breed the next generation of egg layers; regenerative composting, soil making and planting techniques and SPACE an inspiring self-sustainable community arts center. Bellyacres built over 8,000 sq ft  of multipurpose community facilities  in 2007 using mostly volunteer labor, inexpensive local and recycled materials on a budget of $340,000 all raised locally and all without assistance from taxpayers or any government.

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