Purpose Prize

Marc Freedman Portrait

The Latest from CoGenerate

This Cogenerational Pair Calls for ‘Radical Inclusion’ of Youth

This Cogenerational Pair Calls for ‘Radical Inclusion’ of Youth

I was thrilled when I heard about the new book, Why Aren’t We Doing This! Collaborating with Minors in Major Ways, written by Denise Webb, age 20, and Wendy Schaetzel Lesko, age 73, (both pictured above) and published by Youth Infusion, a clearinghouse co-founded by...

Music Is Having a Moment — And It’s a Cogenerational One.

Music Is Having a Moment — And It’s a Cogenerational One.

Sunday’s show featured three big moments reminding us that music can be a bridge not only across race, culture, and genre, but also age. Tracy Chapman & Luke Combs. Much attention, rightfully, has gone to the duet between Tracy Chapman, who turns 60 next month,...

A New Chapter for the Encore Fellowships Program

A New Chapter for the Encore Fellowships Program

We’re excited to share the news that the Encore Fellowships program has moved to The Fedcap Group, a new home with the capacity, networks and drive to help the groundbreaking program expand dramatically.  Got questions? We’ve got answers. What’s The Fedcap Group? The...

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David Sedat

Copan 2012 Experimental Botanical Station
Purpose Prize Fellow 2009

Sedat is regenerating the steepest, most eroded landscape in Copán, Honduras, and helping combat poverty and nutritional issues in the area.

Before retiring from his post as field director at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology’s Copán Project, archaeologist David Sedat led the team that discovered the royal tomb of the founder of the ancient Maya city of Copán, Honduras. Copán is a tourist destination, a crown jewel for Honduras’ economy. Paradoxically, the municipality of Copán is one of the country’s poorest. Sedat, 61, an expert on the ancient Maya, noticed striking parallels between the problems facing contemporary Copán and those that brought down the region’s ancient Maya civilization: unrestrained population growth; deforestation and erosion of hill slopes; loss of farmland; diminished water resources; and nutritional deficiencies. Sedat thought, “Why is not more being done now to avert the coming catastrophe?” In 2003, Sedat started the Copán 2012 Botanical Research Station (or 2012 Project, named so because the year 2012 marks the next cycle of the ancient Maya calendar) to turn 20 acres of the steepest, most eroded farmland overlooking the ruins of Copán into an outdoor classroom where individuals, community organizations, and nongovernmental organizations can learn the relatively simple process of land regeneration. To counter desert-like, rocky slopes gullied by erosion, the 2012 Project combines simple soil conservation techniques with different kinds of fruit, medicinal, and biofuel-producing trees. Roughly five years later, lush forest covers the land.