The Community Ecology Institute has just purchased a 6.4 acre organic farm in our hometown of Columbia, Maryland! We are protecting this unique property from being developed, preserving and restoring the farm, and will be creating a Community Ecology Center where people can come to learn through hands on experiences about how they can have happier, healthier, more connected and sustainable lives! Please help us to raise the funds needed to transform this "diamond in the rough" into an inspiring, innovative, community education center!
This project will be of particular interest for those who want to support:
Check out this mini tour of the barn we will be transforming into an education center!
Check out the Baltimore Sun article about this project!
Check out a local blog article about the importance of our work!
This project is being supported by an exciting team of people and organizations with the knowledge, skills, resources, and passion needed to bring this vision to life. Check out our team!
WHY THIS MATTERS:
For more than 30 years the world community has tried to resolve the combined challenges of environmental degradation, fossil fuel dependence, economic inequality and persistent social injustice. Yet, the scale of these trends has grown, and their effects have become so widespread that they now threaten the stability of communities around the world. The global sustainability challenges of the past have become the local resilience crises of today.
Resilience is the ability of a system - like a family, a country, or Earth's biosphere - to cope with short-term disruptions and adapt to long-term changes without losing its essential character. We depend on the resilience of all the systems that support us for life and well-being; if these systems falter, we suffer. A crisis is an unstable state of affairs in which decisive change is both necessary and inevitable. Today we face four major crises - environmental, energy, economic, and equity - that threaten to overwhelm the resilience of the systems we care about, particularly at the local level*.
Communities are the ideal level of focus for building resilience because people can most effectively be involved at this level. Cities and states are traditionally the laboratories for social and economic innovation. One community's experiment can inspire thousands of other experiments, providing valuable insights and best practices and ultimately building support for larger-scale changes. This is where the Community Ecology Institute (CEI) comes in.
CEI is a 501c3 non-profit with vision for a world in which people and nature thrive together. Our mission is to help create communities that are both socially and ecologically healthy. We do this through evidence-based programs that provide nature-based experiential education around the 4E crises - environment, energy, economic, and equity. We put these programs to place in our hometown community and create tools and resources to help other communities do this important work too. CEI is on a mission to offer solutions, and to serve as an example for other communities.
Because of our good work, one of the last remaining farms in our community has been sold to CEI for a fraction of the market value a developer would pay to turn it into another housing complex. This 6.4 acre organic farm is in an area rich with important Native and African American history - just saving the land from development is a worthwhile endeavor! We are now starting the work of bringing the farm back to life through regenerative agricultural practices AND creating a Community Ecology Center on the property. The center will be a place where the community can learn through hands-on experiences about how to live happier, healthier, more connected and sustainable lives while helping to create a healthier, more resilient community at large.
Small, local, community based urban/ suburban ecology centers have the power to transform communities, healing the earth and bringing people together with a sense of hope and purpose for the future. As we create this Community Ecology Center, we will be developing videos, articles, tools, and other resources about how communities around the country and world can create their own ecology centers in a way that strengthens their local resilience.
If you are local and want to schedule a visit to tour or volunteer at the farm please email firstname.lastname@example.org or check the opportunities at www.facebook.com/communityecologyinstitute/.
The farm address is 8000 Harriet Tubman Ln, Columbia, MD 21044.