FABCity team at Bolling Building in Dudley Square

Spring & Summer 2016  Top

Hi Earthos Supporters!
Did you miss us? We're in the field improving the health of our bioregion, and we're finding it hard to send out regular newsletter updates. So, f or more frequent updates  "like" us on Facebook, and check out our blogAND we've even been posting our work to Twitter and Instagram (with the occasional cute dog picture). 

Together we are transforming our bioregion to be more just, resilient and sustaining!  Earthos is constantly expanding its network in the Boston Bioregion (and bioregions around the world) to connect with like-minded people and organizations. We're working to support bioregional citizenship and action including bioregional  placemaking , urbanism, agriculture, economy building, and sustainability practices. We believe in long-term transformative partnerships. These partnerships enable us to co-create knowledge and solutions that transform our bioregions for collective impact.  Our intention is to contribute to and learn from our projects, and to develop bioregional knowledge to foster an international conversation about the importance of bioregions Read on for information about a few of the partnerships and projects that Earthos has been a part of this past semester.
Support us! Consider making a donation so that we can continue working on behalf of our bioregions-the life places that support us all. A big thanks to our past supporters!
Project Updates PrjctUpdts 
What are we working on in the bioregion?

FABCity @Indigo FABcity360
Collaboratively transforming the regional economy to benefit all.

This spring Earthos partnered with FABLabs for America to create FABCity@Indigo.  FABCity is envisio ned  as a network of diverse actors creating  access to the 'innovation economy' in low income areas, starting in the Fairmont Indigo Transit Corridor of Roxbury/ Dorchester.  
FABCity encourages 1) the creation of fablabs with the community, 2) education in digital fabrication, and 3) community ownership and entrepreneurship. By creating a network of digital production centers, communities can generate and sustain their own wealth while building career ladders for youth. FABCity is w orking primarily in Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan and Hyde Park, and plans to expand to Massachusetts Gateway Cities and beyond. FABLabs for America brings community-based fabrication lab expertise and leadership, and Earthos brings the bioregional economy and design expertise. Together we are working to transform the local and regional economy. 

Roxbury Memory Trail Rox
Collaboratively transforming the Boston urban fabric to make visible the histories of all.
Working with many of Roxbury's community and cultural organizations,  Earthos is helping to make Roxbury's rich heritages accessible through  a 2-mile long engaging, informative art trail
We hope this effort will underscore the pride in and value of  diverse past and present histories of this part of the city, including African American histories, Native American histories, immigrant histories, as well as colonial and settler historiesThe collaborative effort is led by Grove Hall Neighborhood Development Corporation, with Dudley Square Main Streets, Grove Hall Main Streets, the National Center for Afro American Artists and Earthos Institute. Funding is provided by Massachusetts Cultural Council, New England Foundation for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, and The Edward Ingersoll Browne Fund.
This spring, the team presented the first two trail marker designs to the Boston Arts Commission for review. We also held multiple community Trail Master Planning conversations, and a Trail Artist Master class and exhibit at National Center for Afro American Artists (Roxbury). For more information visit our newly launched Roxbury Memory Trail  website created by Ely Beckman and team at Reckoner Group.

Alewife-Mystic Corridor Initiative FAR
Collaboratively transforming an urban ecological corridor for both wildlife and human resiliency and health. Earthos interns spot an otter

  #1.  Earthos board member Ninian Stein has been representing Earthos to help organize the upcoming Medford Conversations Series.   T he Medford Conversation series has recently defined their purpose as: "...to engage the people of Medford through active, small group conversations. Medford Conversations aims to include a multiplicity of voices in the community and together create and act on a vision for a sustainable, just, and thriving Medford." (Medford Conversations 2016).   The plan is for a kick-off event in late September followed by a series of small group conversations where each small group meets together several times across the fall perhaps leading up to another large event.   We hope that Earthos' friends who live or work in Medford will consider participating in Medford Conversations this fall.  In addition, Earthos is looking for ways to connect Medford future efforts with the Mystic-Alewife Corridor to benefit all.  
#2. This past winter and spring, Earthos developed a new partnership with
Friends of the Alewife Reservation (FAR) . FAR is an organization that works to "preserve Alewife Urban Wild into the future," while educating and involving youth and community members in nature conservation projects. 
Earthos began partnering with FAR this year to support the place-based restoration, stewardship, and education efforts of FAR, with the Earthos' bioregional urbanism perspectives and strategies. Additionally, FAR and Earthos are building larger Alewife-Mystic partnerships to improve water quality of Little River and the surrounding area.   Earthos hopes to contribute to a resilient and sustaining Alewife-Mystic ecological  corridor as part of a healthy Boston Bioregion.
This summer, Earthos is supporting FAR's 10th annual Ecology Camp with content-based workshops and technical consulting. With leadership by FAR President Ellen Mass, FAR EcoCamp for teens (as part of th e Cambridge Mayor's Program) meets to learn ecology and sustainability with expert consultants and partners, and to implement the river restoration project 'River Restore'. Earthos staff, interns and board members are teaching youth how to use the bioregional lens to help their  stewardship efforts in  the Alewife Reservation. 
Topics include: bioregional thinking, water, soils and land, and mapping. To learn more about FAR, visit FAR website .
#3. Jerry's Pond is a former clay pit-pond in the Alewife area on Fresh Pond parkway near the Alewife MBTA station. Although now fenced off and overgrown, it hosts wildlife such as otter, birds and fish. Adjacent to the Rindge towers and the Minute Man Trail, it has the potential to be an engaging learning opportunity. Earthos is partnering with Cambridge resident Eric Grunebaum and the Jerry's Pond Action Committee to undertake a project to help residents and passersby learn about and re-imagine Jerry's Pond as an amenity rather than a blight.
Working with Grunebaum, we are enjoying discovering the rich history rooted in geological, ecological, and human narratives. In the coming months, we'll be collaboratively innovating designs for an interactive kiosk to share placed-based stories attached to the pond's past. Stay tuned for upcoming events. This project is partially funded by Cambridge Redevelopment Authority.

The Boston Bioregion Project
Collaboratively transforming our collective understanding of our bioregion. 

Help us collect stories of 'humans of the bioregions' and other living species! Similar to Humans of New York, we want to capture the stories of those who make up our life place, creating a repository of stories that help us understand our bioregion.  We're just launching this and we need your help. What can you do? 1)  Like Facebook  2) post a picture with a story about a human or living being of the bioregion. Yes, it can be you, your dog, your backyard skunk, or a turtle you spotted in the lake last weekend.   
Education    Education
Bioregional Urbanism and youth 
This year we expanded our work to include youth. We experimented by discussing basic Bioregional Urbanism ideas with a group of teens in Cambridge. These ideas include: 1) Bioregion-your life place or life region 2) Urbanism-how we create our world, our places, our homes, our cities 3) Stewardship -understanding and caring for our 7 core resources  (water, food, energy, people, land, biodiversity, and waste as resource) 4) One Planet living - we have one planet, and we have to share the resources of the planet. Certain people over consume while others don't get their fair share. How can we change this together? 5) Scaled thinking-every action affects all scales from the cell, to the person, to the family, to the neighborhood, to the city, to the bioregion, to the nation, to the planet. 6) Living beings- how do we make our places, our homes, our cities with living beings at the center? 7) Co-create -we have to work together to make our life places better 8) Shared vision and goals-to work together we need shared vision, which includes all of us and is more than any of us.

What we learned: The teens quickly understood these basic principles. They actually guessed many of these ideas, including shared goals. And they   remembered these ideas the next day and used them to understand soil science. This illustrated to our team that bioregional ideas may be inherent in us, but this thinking is not supported by our contemporary education. As we work to transform our bioregions, we're wondering how our education and professional training needs change.

Research and Publications   Research
Boston Bioregion Report
We're in the midst of working on an evolving report that can be used by fellow citizens of the Boston bioregion. This report includes information about our bioregion's land, food, water, energy, waste, people and biodiversity. It will help us understand what we need to do to create a more resilient and just bioregion.

Transformative Leadership and Bioregional Urbanism 
We've authored a chapter for the book Transformative Harmony, an edited collection of essays by Ananta Giri of Madras Institute of Development Studies, India. Transformative harmony is the process of changing cultural systems that perpetuate poverty, discrimination, and environment degradation, to systems that fundamentally benefit all living beings, including all people. We believe Bioregional Urbanism supports this goal.  The book is going to press this summer!   This chapter explores the flexible framework of Bioregional Urbanism as a practice method that enables  transformative  harmony in sustainable development. It explores Earthos' efforts during the past eight years to practice collaboratively with living systems and each other, transcending national boundaries, immediate short term demands and disciplinary barriers.

What's coming up? WhatsComingUp
Educational Activities this fall.  Keep an eye out for these upcoming Earthos events this year.

#1 Earthos Bioregional Conversation Series
Over the past two years, Earthos has held a conversation series regarding the essential resources in the bioregion: Water, food, people, biodiversity, waste, land, and energy. The purpose of these conversations is to get citizens to view the utilization of the 7 resources through a bioregional lens and increase support for more sustainable, ethical practices. We will be hosting monthly
 conversations again this fall. How do we better understand the stewardship of our core resources in our bioregion? Learn More on our Website! 
#2 Hands-on Workshop Series
We are hosting hands-on workshops this Fall. We want to be a resource for leaders and citizens working to make the Boston bioregion and world more just, resilient and sustainable. During these hands-on workshops, we will explore issues that matter, and then look at how the bioregional lens can help us better understand and act: children & climate resiliency, urban agriculture & permaculture, GIS & mapping for resiliency, transformative leadership and more.  Stay tuned for more information. If you want to collaboratively teach a workshop, or have a workshop idea Contact us.

The Earthos family keeps on growing! Interns
We're committed to fostering Bioregional Urbanism leadership skills with emerging professionals. This summer, four interns have joined the Earthos team, three from Skidmore College and one from Tufts University. Each brings their own unique set of skills and interests to the team and we're delighted to have them on board!

Project Updates Continued: ProjectsMore
FABCity@Indigo FABlrnmore

FABCity is an explosive idea expanded from the original concept of the FABLab, generated from a project at MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms. FABLab initiatives are up and running in many places around the globe including Barcelona, Kerala, Georgia, Shenzhen, and Amsterdam. There are even efforts in our own bioregion of Boston, which FABCity hopes to help grow. What exactly is a FABLab? FABLabs are smaller fabrication workshops that house digital fabrication  equipment. This equipment enables rapid prototyping of products by individuals, designers, artists, and start-up entrepreneurs. FABLab equipment includes 3-D printers, CNC routers, laser cutters and woodworking equipment. Why FABLabs? FABLabs are fundamentally democratic because anyone, from teenagers to artists, can learn to use them to build almost anything. Digital fabrication is the way of future production. We imagine a future in which all communities have FABLabs, and will produce many goods locally with digital fabrication equipment. This enables resource security and resiliency. What is unique about FABCity@Indigo?  FABCity@Indigo is unique in its approach to adopting the FABLab idea in that we hope to create a comprehensive network of community-owned and run fabrication spaces that will provide training for this technology, as well as outlets for users to sell their work. Eventually, we believe FABCity will open many doors and avenues for those parts of the Boston Bioregion needing access to wealth-capturing catalysts. 
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Roxbury Memory Trail RoxLrnMre

The Roxbury Memory Trail Project is a joint effort of five organizations dedicated to making Roxbury's culture and rich history an integral part of the area's influence and character within the Boston Bioregion. Robert Hector, the project's brain-child and member of the Greater Grove Hall Main Street, dreamt the idea for Roxbury Memory Trail in the 80's.  The main "anchors" on the trail are Grove Hall Square and Dudley Square, and interspersed between these anchors will be 20+ sites featuring the histories of the corridor over the centuries, emphasizing civil rights and African American history. Along the trail and between sites will be art installations, maps and murals generated by community artists to bridge the gap between past and present. This project aims to include as many organizations as possible in the creation of the Trail, and be a resource for all, bringing attention to the tremendous art and culture of Roxbury.
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FAR Eco-Camp FARlrnmore

The Little River Restore project will bring together youth and community from throughout the Mystic River watershed to improve water quality and habitat in and around the river. The area of concern is one of the largest urban wilds in Boston and is home to over 90 bird and 20 mammal species. These essential members of the Boston bioregion are at risk due to poor water quality and land management, and the entire area is vulnerable to storm surges and flooding. Such risks highlight the growing need for resiliency education and holistic approaches to conservation along the corridor.  
Earthos works with FAR to help steward their educationally enriching and awareness building programs to encourage connection between Boston communities and our living environments. As drop-in speakers and educators we participate in holding information sessions on environmental science and bioregional urbanism. FAR is a wonderful arena for us to engage with the active community, involve the next generation of environmental stewards and hold discussions on bioregional citizenship.

Jerry's Pond Jrrylrnmore

Jerry's Pond is a piece of land with the potential to be an oasis in the beautiful Alewife reservation area. Eric Grunebaum is an environmentally dedicated citizen who headed the plan to preserve and improve the habitats part of and surrounding Jerry's Pond. We at Earthos have enjoyed discovering the rich history rooted in both its human and geological past that founds this well-loved, natural attraction. Working with Eric and the neighboring communities, we are now innovating designs for an interactive kiosk to share some placed-based historical narratives attached to the pond's past. Looking forward to the future, we can't wait to see what kind of new educational and fun activities the community will enjoy at everyone's favorite pond.
Our Summer Interns: InternsLrnMore
Lauren Jackson

Lauren graduated from Skidmore College with a BA in International Affairs and a minor  in Environmental Studies. Her passion for environmentalism and sustainability stems from a long standing love of the outdoors and compelling courses taken throughout college. At Skidmore she explored topics such as environmental education, global environmental governance, sustainable development and environmental health. She is particularly interested in the intersection of human and environmental health, and how creating resilient, sustainable communities contributes to the health and wellbeing of populations. She is very excited to join the Earthos team and explore the ways that we can meaningfully impact the bioregion in which we serve!

Omari Spears

Omari Spears is a Skidmore College graduate with degrees in philosophy and sociology. His interest in environmentalism primarily relates to an interest in fostering positive relationships between human beings and the rest of the natural world and working toward ecologically sound practices. He's looking forward to learning more about seeing the world through a bioregional lens this summer, and learning about Earthos' relationship with local communities.

Miranda Wilson

Miranda Willson is a rising senior at Tufts University. She is a double major in environmental studies and urban policy, and she's interested in pursuing a career that allows her to communicate ideas about our natural and built environments through journalism. She's currently working on an independent research project through Tufts Summer Scholars that will examine the history and future of a large industrial site in Woburn, MA, with the help of her project adviser and Earthos Director, Ninian Stein.

Ellie Rochman

Ellie Rochman is a rising senior at Skidmore College studying Art history. She went to Skidmore with a love for dance, but soon tried out many different classes and found that she loved discovering the connection in ways of thinking between studies. She always been interested in how the environment - both built and natural - shapes human connection and community, and then soon discovered the power of architecture and design. Her sophomore year, Ellie  took an art history class which further inspired her understanding of the power of design to mold humans' perception of the world, both of the past and present. Now Ellie hopes to pursue higher education that allows her to keep on learning how to practice interdisciplinary work. Ellie is also very interested in making the valuable resources of academia more accessible to all parts of the public arena.

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