Michael Veracka is an Associate Professor within the Department of Urban Horticulture & Design at Farmingdale State College. His teaching interests and design practice focus on sustainable design, edible landscaping and the adaptive reuse of urban spaces.
Michael is the creator of The Sustainable Garden, a new one-half acre demonstration garden within the department’s Teaching Gardens focusing on contemporary strategies and practices relating to responsible resource use, conservation and innovation, product development and food production. In 2013 SUNY designated this garden as one of “Six Big Ideas, With Unlimited Potential,” highlighting the garden as an example of the Power of SUNY.
At the root of his work is a reverence for nature and a respect for the natural environment. Trained as a landscape architect – earning a master’s degree from the Rhode Island School of Design – Michael’s landscape philosophy brings together his educational training at Providence College, the New Alchemy Institute (East Falmouth, MA) the Research Center for Japanese Garden Art and Historical Heritage (Kyoto, Japan) and practical experience as an organic grower and market gardener, environmentalist, stone artisan, urban garden designer, certified arborist and horticulturist. He has also worked as a landscape designer and planner for private landscape architecture firms and city and state government agencies.
Michael is a frequent lecturer and writer on a wide variety of design and horticultural topics. Michael has won numerous design awards and his work has been featured in Garden Design magazine; Organic Gardening magazine; People, Places and Plants magazine; Rhode Island Monthly magazine; the Boston Globe magazine; the Boston Herald, and numerous other publications. His design of the Farmingdale State College Sustainable Garden is prominently featured in the book Grow More With Less: Sustainable Garden Methods, by Vincent Simeone.