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2019 Land and Water Summit

The theme of our 24th conference, the 2019 Land/Water Summit: "Left Brain/Right Brain," hopes to offer strategies for developing whole brain solutions for managing resources central to all our lives. With the help of Jeff Goebel, Building Consensus for Whole Brain Stormwater Solutions, we will examine our conflicting concerns about managing stormwater to support urban shade and wildlife habitat while cleaning stormwater runoff before it reaches the Rio. Individually we are all working on water issues, designing and managing water efficient landscapes, creating and defending water policies, filtering stormwater while stemming soil erosion, growing food sustainably, revegetating disturbed land, growing networks to educate people locally and regionally. We ask everyone at the Summit to listen to each other. Together we can work smarter and more cost-effectively to create positive change in the way we green our communities. 

This will be the third Summit that employs listening circles to facilitate dialogue and action. Several times during the Summit we will break out into small listening groups purposefully mixed so that each circle has members representing the varied concerns in managing stormwater holistically. Jeff Goebel will have us ask and answer four questions as we listen to speakers and each other during the two days of the Summit: 1) What is the present situation and how do you feel about it? 2) What are the worst possible outcomes of confronting / not confronting the present situation? 3) What are the best possible outcomes of confronting the present situation? and finally, 4) What do we need to do to foster the best possible outcomes? Throughout the Summit, the presenters will offer ideas, strategies and examples of engaging the community as water advocates:

It's all about working together across disciplines to solve problems so that projects address several problems, sites are more multi-functional, and available resources are spent to accomplish great things. What now, where do we go from here? We’re listening. 

2019 Keynote:

Benjamin Vogt

Author of  A New Garden Ethic: Cultivating Defiant

Compassion for an Uncertain Future, will open the Summit with a challenge. How can we work with ecological processes to make our landscapes resilient and supportive of wildlife as well as of our human needs? He asks, “How can we get ourselves back into balance through our landscapes, to speak life's language and learn from other species? Simply put, environmentalism is not political, it's an ethical rewiring of our animal brains -- and social justice for all marginalized species facing extinction. By thinking deeply and honestly about our built landscapes, we can create a compassionate activism that connects us more profoundly to nature and to one another.”

Our primary goal is to educate the public about resource conservation

and best practices for improving local landscapes.