“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” - Albert Einstein
We’ve all heard the phrase “change is inevitable” and yet so many of us struggle with change and try to fight to keep things the same. In permaculture, one of the principles I found to be of great value to my understanding of this practice is the principle Creatively Use and Respond to Change. In permaculture, we accept the fact that our world, our ecosystems, our weather and climate, our population, our economy, EVERYTHING is constantly in flux and that it’s a purposeless act to try to stop change from happening but our response to change and how we creatively move with the changing times is within our control. The other aspect of this principle is that if we know of changes occurring, we can plan and design for them. We can plan and design for the change of seasons. We can plan and design for the succession of an ecosystem, how it changes and grows and withers over time. We can plan and design for social changes, ensuring that we open up to new community members and ideas as they weave into our existing neighborhoods and towns.
We asked people at our May launch events, what changes would you like to see in your community and why? Here is what we heard:
What changes would you like to see in your community? Any why?
• Community gardens
• Replanting maples along roads
• Walking trails
• More planters downtown
• More areas for people to grow their own vegetables, etc. if unable due to rental living
• A skate park
• More participation; More community members advertising the cause to improve local awareness of our project
• I love that you will be teaching permaculture! Old attitudes need to change. NH is surprisingly stubborn. I’m struggling with our river/riparian ecosystems and wanting some more protection and restoration. We should be seeing more food growing and less lawns. More fruit trees, berries, foraging, etc.
• Collaboration among human/social services and recreation and permaculture (i.e. Tyler Blain House Homeless Shelter community garden to supplement food pantry)
• Preservation/Conservation of land when warranted
• Dog park, as a gathering place
• More for teens to do, and a teen center isn’t really the answer
• Littleton needs more gardens and flowers that attract birds, bees, etc.
• More purposeful use of spaces . . . . . and less trash!
• We should accentuate the positive – how can that be wrong
• Community gardens (near tracks/DDs in Whitefield)
• Bike-friendly and pedestrian-friendly tails linking inns, trails, schools, restaurants and town centers. This would allow our recreation minded community members to be free to commute in a healthy, eco-friendly way
• Promotion and implementation of reduction in plastic in public schools
• A more integrated trail network where I can hike and bike in a safe environment
• Edible perennial gardens for the community
• Eco-building, water harvesting and edible landscaping demonstrations in local parks and town squares. Also at pre-existing educational institutions.
• More flowers and more colors, and natural colors
• Have random areas around town for wildflowers
• Faster pace in returning to small town shops; cobblestone streets, rock gardens, etc.
• Community gardens (near the tracks/Dunkin Donuts in Whitefiedl)
• More purposeful use of spaces . . . . and less trash
As Root to Rise works with our local communities on planning, designing and creating permaculture spaces, we will look for ways to integrate these suggestions into the work we do. We know that we build a strong, resilient community by supporting a diverse set of ideas and perspectives. We know change is inevitable and we are happy to find the skills of creativity and adaptability in working with change as opposed to trying to stop it.
If you want to join us at our first design workshop where we will change the ecosystem of a local business in downtown Bethlehem, contact Stacey Doll at Stacey.firstname.lastname@example.org. Our design workshop at Rek-lis’ brewing company is from July 5th – 12th. You are welcome to be part of any piece of the design process or join us for the whole adventure. You won’t be disappointed!!