The Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions

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Framing Audacious Goals

Written by Community Solutions Executive Director Susan Jennings


Early last December, I and three Community Solutions board members attended a three-day seminar with Australian microbiologist Walter Jehne on the Soil Carbon Sponge. Hosted in Vermont by author Didi Pershouse of the Soil Carbon Coalition, the presentations and discussions focused on the perilous state of soils internationally, and the promise of regenerative land use practices to restore their biological vitality. The intersections of healthy soils, healthy people, and restored water cycles were a primary focus.  Coming on the heels of recent international climate goals focused on carbon sequestration in soil, the seminar was a hopeful reminder of the agency that individuals and communities have to repair the planet. On the last morning of the seminar, Walter suggested that we in the United States frame audacious goals around regenerative soils. One suggestion: “Rehydrate California.”

We’ll be discussing the audacious goals we might set at a regional level during our upcoming Healthy Soils Symposium to be held February 24-25 at Antioch College in Yellow Springs.  We’ll be learning about the soil carbon sponge—the ability of soil to retain rainfall, sustain transpiration and cool climates-- from Didi Pershouse, Peter Bane, David Brandt and others.  Farmers, gardeners, and others who tend our community soils will be speaking about their challenges and successes in restorative landuse practices.  Together, we’ll explore the roadblocks and promises of regenerating a healthy landscape.

Audacity is threaded throughout our 2017 schedule. At a community organizing conference on March 18th, we’ll highlight how the fierce commitment to community demonstrated at Standing Rock also resides in our local citizenry. In October, at our Economics of Happiness Conference, we’ll collectively explore alternative metrics of community well-being.

You can read and hear from a few of our Healthy Soils speakers here.  We hope to see you in Yellow Springs in February. Registration for the symposium is now open. To register click here