Growing Solutions Restoration Education Institute
2016 Update From Don and Karen
Happy New Years! As we enter 2016 and reflect on our past work and the coming new year the common theme we keep coming back to is: sustainability.
Don and I grew up camping with our respective families in some of the most beautiful and pristine areas of the west. We each have grand memories of these trips—splashing and swimming in clean waters, hiking to view vistas that seemed to go on forever. As kids this was our normal. One of the required commitments of these trips was to leave our camp cleaner than we found it. As kids we were tasked with picking up every last piece of trash, no matter how small. And last thing before we all climbed into the car was an inspection by Dad. The criteria: had we succeeded in leaving no trace? If not, we didn’t leave until we got it right.
This was a sustainable routine, our impact on a camping site was minimal—we left and the animals again walked through what had been our camp and the grasses grew back untrammeled. The ecology—with humans as an integral part of sustaining it—worked. Currently as we hear the word “sustainable” and observe marketing efforts to “be green” we know what we’d really like to see besides slick feel-good websites: wild habitats that are functioning.
Integrating the wild and the built environments, aka farming with the wild, in our habitat restoration projects we strive to allow the natural systems to work where predators can hunt, pollinators go from flower to — a robust functioning ecosystem where diverse species can thrive. Our mantra: what’s good for the environment is good for us. Because, we ARE the ecology...or at least a part of it.