Community Land Project

 The Community Land Project

Building resilience and wellness in uncertain times.
Remembering and restoring what it means to be human.

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Join us for our first community-wide gathering to share and vision together what a community land project might look like. Tuesday October 8th, 6:30 – 9pm. Location to be announced closer to the date, but it will be somewhere in Boulder. Please email Christiane at christianepelmas@gmail.com to rsvp for this gathering.

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No matter which science you believe, and what reports you follow, it is inarguable that the Earth is in the midst of an unprecedented climate crisis, one that is already having grave impacts on the wellness of all life, including our human species. Access to potable water, food, shelter, and medical care are already jeopardized for vast human populations. All the while, in the midst of the sixth mass extinction, we face the disappearance of such iconic animals as the polar bear, the monarch butterfly, the bumble bee and thousands more; all creatures upon whom we rely for the balanced wellness of Life as we have known it. In the midst of this crisis, it is tempting to imagine all that must happen is a massive (arguably unimaginable) global response whose goal and vision is to substitute fossil fuel for renewable energy. Certainly this must happen, but even if this were to happen, we would not be addressing the very issue that is deeply woven into the fabric of nearly all human culture across the Earth, the issue that has made our current crisis inevitable. This issue is also the cause of the epidemics of violence and addiction in our school systems; apathy, entitlement and emotional ignorance in our youth; widespread dissociation from the natural world and Earth’s systems upon which we rely for our lives and so much more.

While we must immediately address the acute environmental crisis we face, we must also create opportunities to reweave the web of life within our communities, families and partnerships. We must write a new human story which embeds us, right sized and intelligently attuned, within the fabric of Life on Earth.

There are many ways we will heal our communities and cultures, our relationships with each other and the Earth. And one of those ways is by having the opportunity to re-engage with the very basic elements of our survival – the food and water we require for our survival, and relationships with each other and the larger world of plants and animals, the night sky, and the ancestors. We must create opportunities and spaces for those dedicated wisdom keepers and teachers to offer their gifts to their people; places for us to learn how to build and sustain gardens, relationships and simple dwelling structures. We need places where our children and families in urban zones can come and immerse themselves, to befriend the benevolent darkness, to listen to the forest sounds, and to help build a cabin that they might then stay in with their families.

“There were times in my healing when the only words and ideas that made sense were the ones that came to me unbidden from the land; those gentle, fierce reminders from the trees, the night crickets and the tumbling brook to STOP! REMEMBER! YOU BELONG TO US!”

What would this place look like, specifically? Certainly this depends on the needs of the communities it desires to nourish. But we have a few ideas based on what we know of our community of the Front Range/Denver-Boulder area. A note: this vision is not a vision for residential community. There would be a certain number of people who would live on the land to tend and manage all the threads of its wellness. Primarily, it is a place for teachers, leaders, and wisdom-keepers to offer their courses, including the many teachers and guides in this area who teach and certify students in wilderness-based therapeutic modalities. It is also a place for the community (individuals, families, school groups, church groups etc) to come to remember what it means to be human. This includes learning how to garden, to care for animals, to listen to the land, to learn how to build sustainable low-impact off-the-grid buildings. we’d love to share with you. It is also a place for visiting teachers, elders and wisdom-keepers to come and share their gifts with us. This vision holds as one of its highest priorities that it be inviting, inclusive and available to all people, of all ages, races, genders, cultural backgrounds and practices. Above all, this vision imagines a place where we practice genuine outreach and inclusivity, vibrant diversity and radical listening, compassion and curiosity, not merely for each other but for all Life.

  • A place for the teachers, elders and wisdom-keepers of the community to offer their gifts. We have precious few places in Boulder County, remarkably few in fact, where teachers who do land-based work or large group work can hold their courses in a soulful, quiet, wild and inspired place, where the woods are right outside the classroom door, where faculty can stay in residence and participants can camp on the land.

  • A place for individuals and families can learn basic skills, like how to build an off-the-grid cabin, while embedded within a community endeavor, and then have access to that cabin throughout the year, to replenish themselves in the wild for a night or two

  • A place for community to hold events, celebrations, meetings and more, where we can spend time both listening to each other and listening to the land; a place for councils, weddings, memorial services, and other foundational ceremonies which feed our human wholeness

  • A place for cultural events like music, art, dance and more

  • Most importantly, a place for community to listen for, and learn, a new human story; a story of generosity, benevolence, embeddedness and interconnectedness

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How would people be invited to participate? What we have envisioned so far are a few possibilities. For this vision to become a flourishing, growing reality we will need both financial participants (investors) and experience/wisdom participants (investors). We see an initial small group of people being the primary ‘investors’. Those folks would all join forces to combine assets to purchase the property and invest in the first phase of development. For the second and third phases of development and for all ongoing maintenance, this vision relies on tiered community investments of both time and money. Starting at $500 and going as high as the generosity and capacity of individuals and families extends, we will offer the opportunity for folks to invest in exchange for access to the many amenities, spaces and events the Community Land Project offers. These include but certainly are not limited to time share access to cabins, community events, rental of various spaces for private ceremonies/events, access to the teaching, group and class spaces and the wild land for vision fasts, wilderness therapy trainings and more. The only thing limiting the beauty and fullness of this vision is our communal capacity to lean in, collaborate and imagine together!