‘Building with Natural Materials in Nicaragua’

SARANAC LAKE – Nancy Bernstein will present “Building with Natural Materials in Nicaragua” at noon on Thursday, March 27, in the Cantwell Community Room at the Saranac Lake Free Library.

Bernstein, graduated in 1985 with a biology degree from Cornell University, took a job working with Pete Seeger’s Hudson River Sloop which was (and still is) dedicated to cleaning up the Hudson River while teaching environmental education to children and adults. In 1987 she became the on-board educator for the traditionally built wooden sailing vessel, Clearwater.

In the off season, Bernstein helped repair wooden boats and build a timber-frame replica of a cotton mill for Disney World. Other past jobs have included: working for Greenpeace; crewing on sailing vessels and gardening. In 1993, she moved to Saranac Lake, built her own self-sustaining “green” house and works now as a timber-frame builder and professional illustrator.

Bernstein has written that “‘natural building'” is a building philosophy that relies on materials and techniques which are ecologically sound, culturally sensitive, reliant on local resources and skills, and are within the economic reach of local inhabitants. Tending to rely on human labor, more than technology, natural building often utilizes revived, and sometimes improved, techniques. This presentation will feature a natural building class taught in northern Nicaragua in 2012 in which local campesinos built a community space and classroom.

Those attending are encouraged to bring soup or sandwich and enjoy desserts and beverages provided by the Hospitality Committee. The Program is free and open to the public. For more information, call 518-891-4190.