Stryszow is a village located in the south of Poland, 50 km from Cracow. For many years this place has been connected with the activities for the organic agriculture, eco-tourism, renewable technologies and sustainable, family farming, mainly due to the excellent work of Jadwiga Lopata, the Goldman Prize winner in 2002.

The International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside was established in 2000. The organisation is expanding its range of activities towards the education through practice. In autumn 2003 we’ll open our Eco-Centre for ecological education. The centre will be based on the already existing farm, where the visitors can see several examples of ecological technologies (photovoltaic modules, the house from clay and straw, spherical greenhouse etc.). It is our objective to finish the construction of the conference building in autumn 2003, using clay and straw technology. The accommodation will be provided by eco-tourist farms cooperating with ICPPC. Locally grown organic produce will be served during the trainings. On the countryside, away from the pressures of everyday life, participants will enjoy a mixture of learning, practical experience and contact with nature.

ECO-CENTRE ICPPC will offer residential courses, lectures and meetings, contributing to the creation of sustainable ways of living and promoting organic, environmentally friendly agriculture. We want to build public awareness of countryside values and of the threat to these values, provide examples of practical solutions, like increasing cooperation among local farmers, as well as demonstrating practical small-scale ecological technologies for the countryside.

The project is targeted at:
1. farmers – giving them the knowledge necessary in the changing economical circumstances and skills useful for sustaining their small, family farms (crafts, eco-tourism, healing, ecological technologies). We will teach about the new methods of farming (eg. permaculture), ways of marketing organic food, traditional occupations (pottery, embroidery etc.).
2. children and youth – organising workshops, visits and lectures touching the topics connected with organic agriculture and renewable energy sources, showing that the ecology can be a fascinating challenge and interesting adventure.
3. everyone interested in farming, environment, healthy life-style and cultural heritage of countryside – trainings, meetings, exhibitions, weekends on the countryside, vacations promoting not only refreshment, but also insight in the current situation and the issues of sustainability, cultural and biological diversity and holistic, healthy life-style.

Below you will find examples of the trainings and workshops that will be included in the program of Eco-Centre.
1. Guided visits in the Eco-Centre for schoolchildren and students. Lectures, games, introduction to the technologies using renewable energy sources.
2. Classes on the organic farms cooperating with ICPPC – baking bread, making butter, use of herbs, biodiversity of the countryside, animals on the farm, composting…
3. Courses for adults addressing in detail the issues connected with organic agriculture and ecological technologies – “How to start an organic farm”. “Rural landscape – traditional countryside and biodiversity”, “Ecological construction – what and how can be saved?”, “Principles of sustainable design”., “Vanishing occupations – series of workshops”, “Organic food – baking bread, making cheese, balanced diet”, “Bioregional education”, “Renewable energy systems”.
4. Arts and sustainability – “Traditional, wooden instruments”, “Open-air sculptures”, “Pottery”.
5. Events promoting the values of the countryside – eg. “Weekend on the countryside – a visit in the Eco-Centre and organic lunch on the farm”, celebrations of traditional feasts and holidays.
6. Conferences, exhibitions, competitions (starting in 2004).

We offer the organisation of workshops, meetings, conferences in our centre. We can hire a conference room (20 people) equipped with a TV, video and slide projector. We can arrange accommodation in the surrounding farms.