“Every place, like every person, is elevated by the love and respect shown toward it,
and by the way in which its bounty is received.”
No matter where one is in the world, there exists an opportunity to deepen our understanding of our human role as steward. Whether realized or not, we actively participate in vast ecosystems that hold an endless expanse of information. The degree to which we receive and process this boundless information ultimately reflects where we are on our journey to being fully human; to being present with ourselves and the relationships we play part in. Are our intentions reciprocal?
In “The Nature of Design”, David Orr suggests that humans are better described as clever rather than intelligent. We are clever in that we are most inclined to leverage conditions to our own narrowly defined and often simplistic, short-sighted advantage rather than understanding our humanness and well-being as inextricably tied to and functioning within the dynamics of natural systems, systems both highly complex and, ironically, possessing what many are increasingly recognizing as true, inherent intelligence.
*Orr, D., The Nature of Design (Oxford University Press), 2004.
Can we find pathways of discovery and connection to the intelligence of these complex systems that lead us into an integrated consciousness and connectedness, to an understanding of conservation through which we experience the intelligence of living systems rather than remain in our cleverly manipulated relationship?
This year’s CONSERVATION + CONNECTIONS retreat will be an immersive and co-created experience for leaders in land stewardship and regenerative agriculture. In partnership with Nicole Masters of Integrity Soils, this 5 day retreat will be guided by soil ecologists, indigenous healers, and agriculturalists. We will delve into the complexities of foundational life systems to reflect on what “real” connection could look like between people and place. Our time together will explore and share strands of knowledge - sacred, archetypal, mythological, historical, present - and what might be the human connection to true intelligence.
Our goal is to establish a global consortium of “stewards” who are seeking deeper understanding of land management best practices and broader awareness of human/landscape partnerships. Facilitators will be guiding the group through two overarching themes:
Stewardship Economics is derived from a thoughtful approach to community-building and land management. We will prioritize working with the what the landscape’s “natural” ecosystem services provide to humans, and in contrast will explore the services that we as humans can provide to the landscape. Stewardship Economics is derived from a “systems thinking” approach to land stewardship, promoting mutually beneficial relationships between people and place.
Sacred Science explores indigenous heritage and relationships that exist between Native societies and the natural world. This approach to land stewardship invites a deeper conversation of how indigenous cultures considered the land a teacher, fostering what many ecologists and anthropologists consider the foundation of regenerative human/landscape partnerships.
The Common Ground Project and Integrity Soils are inviting professional soil ecologists, anthropologists, and land managers (ranchers and farmers who manage large-scale crop, cattle and sheep operations) from around the world to attend this transformative experience in Tom Miner Basin. The experience includes tipi camping, guided hikes, equine-assisted therapy, facilitated campfire discussions and lessons in soil ecology, wildlife biology, natural history, and more. Together, we will share the element of fire and knowledge garnered from our collective commitment to stewardship.
Dates: July 19 - July 24, 2019
Number of Participants: 20
Cost Per Participant: $1900.00