Ecological Core Immersion 2023

 Registration is closed for this event
A limited number of spots are available to join the first four weeks of our 16-week spring training programs! Join a holistic primer on ecology, reciprocity, and preparing ourselves to be lifelong stewards of nature.

The Horn Farm's Ecological Core Immersion offers a glimpse into our 16-week Land Steward and Ecological Gardener Training Programs by opening the first four weeks of class to additional participants. 

These four weeks lay the groundwork for understanding the natural history, ecology, and ongoing environmental challenges of our bioregion. Participants gain foundational knowledge in both the values and practices that generate impactful restorative earth work. While using a combination of lecture and interactive activities to learn about ecosystems and natural ways to restore health and integrity to local landscapes, we will also explore new lenses for seeing, engaging with, and integrating ourselves into natural systems. 

Program Cost: $325 for four 8-hour sessions

Topics include (and are not limited to): 

  • Basic ecology and natural cycles.
  • Historical land uses and misuses.
  • Considerations for regenerative land design.
  • Disturbance-based land management.
  • Physical movement training for field and forest work.

Class Dates/Locations:

  • Session 1: Monday, 2/13, 8am-4pm @ Columbia Crossing River Trails Center (41 Walnut Street, Columbia, PA 17512)
  • Session 2: Monday, 2/20, 8am-4pm @ Hellam Township Municipal Building (35 Walnut Springs Rd, York, PA 17406) 
  • Session 3: Monday, 2/27, 8am-4pm @ Hellam Township Municipal Building
  • Session 4: Monday, 3/6, 8am-4pm @ Hellam Township Municipal Building

Since these classes build on each other, we cannot allow registration for individual sessions!

About the Instructors: 

Wilson Alvarez

Wilson Alvarez is a certified permaculture designer, inventor, gardener, skilled tracker, bowyer, nature-awareness instructor, and writer from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Since 2004, he has taught classes and workshops on bio-intensive agriculture, regenerative technology, foraging, hunting, trapping, tracking, and wilderness survival. Wilson studied at the Wilderness Awareness School via the Kamana program, and he received his Permaculture Design Certificate through Susquehanna Permaculture.

Andrew Horn

Born in York County, Andrew Horn earned his Business Management degree from Shippensburg University. After graduation, Andrew traveled with World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) to New Zealand, where he lived and learned on organic farms. Captivated by his experience, Andrew wanted to continue his journey in small-scale agriculture and sought to find a place where he could apply, develop and learn new skills. He found the Horn Farm Center through an Introduction to Permaculture class. Since successful completion of the Farming Internship, Andrew has pursued his exploration of a career in farming as the Farm Manager at the Horn Farm Center. He runs the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program and guides participants through hands-on instruction in the Land Steward Training Program.

Elyse Jurgen

Elyse Jurgen, owner of Waxwing EcoWorks Co., is a community collaborator working to rebuild ecological literacy and biodiversity through hands-on ecological gardening experiences in South Central PA.

She is certified as a Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional and Ecological/Permaculture Designer, along with earning an Ecological Gardening Certification from Mt. Cuba Center. She has a Master’s Degree in Environmental Education, 7-12 Biology Teaching Certification, and participated in Cornell University’s Civic Ecology program. Elyse works alongside homeowners in a participatory approach to their gardening for wildlife needs, infusing educational opportunities during the design, installation, and management process. She invites homeowners to deeply engage with their land to maximize its potential in enhancing human well-being and supporting dwindling wildlife populations.

To explore Elyse’s ecological gardening work and experience in greater depth, visit


February 13th, 2023 8:00 AM to March 6th, 2023 4:00 PM
Event Fee(s)
Ecological Core Immersion $325.00