What an amazing weekend for Regenerating Cascadia tour in Whatcom County!
We were proud to be involved in organizing part of the Regenerate Cascadia’s bioregion activation tour. This weekend we had a series of events that highlighted and networked people together around issues related to restoring ecosystem function within our local Nooksack water catchment. There were several events that happened Saturday and Sunday with lots of good connections being made and ideas bubbled up to the surface.
If you attended and have additional thoughts, comments or questions please enter them below!
Presented by Joe Brewer, Co-Founder of the Design School for Regenerating Earth and Brandon Letsinger, founder of CascadiaNow! and the Department of Bioregion which Regenerate Cascadia is a program of.
The first event was a presentation Saturday evening at the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship with Joe Brewer presenting a pathway for coordinating efforts to network communities. Building from private properties, to water catchments and eventually up to bioregional scale. A discussion followed the presentation.
On Sunday three well attended tours went throughout the day. With individuals and groups interested in land regeneration topics. We toured four properties that showcased different aspects of regeneration strategies, goals and techniques.
First Gathering was at Inspiration Farm where we walked our water integrated landscape. Talking about how over the years we have worked with the natural patterns of water, animals, plants and soil building process to create a resilient ecosystem. Providing food for humans, wildlife and habitat, at the same time it builds the soil carbon sponge, filters water and creates other ecological services.
The second was a quick peek at the gravel pit that adjoins the back of Inspiration Farm. It is in desperate need of restoration in the coming years. We envisioned ways to restore it to a functioning ecosystem from its existing context. As we went we noticed the roles plants play in the natural secession process. Blackberry, alder, cottonwood, willow, scotch broom all have a role. As we walked and talked we planted white oak acorn seeds along the edges of paths.
We stopped at the nursery to talk about how important it is to steward plant genetic material and grow plants out that are selected to the local region. The need to have community run nurseries where plants can be accessible to projects in the local area. Inspiration Farm runs a small nursery. We like the idea of eventually establishing a community run nursery where people can learn the skills and scale up the quantity of plant materials so that they are available at scale.
On the image below: The red outline is Inspiration Farm, 13 acres, the blue is Rick’s place 5 acres and the white outline is the gravel pit that needs to be regenerated, 100 acres
We went on to our neighbor Rick’s property where he has single-handedly over the past 10 years converted a 5 acre denuded horse pasture into a native forest and effectively ReWild it to bring back wildlife, habitat and ecosystem function back to the land.
During our lunch break we had a great discussions and further got a chance to introduce ourselves to the group and build networking ties that will go on into the future continuing this conversation. Building on each other’s strengths and vision for what is possible and ways to get it done.
After lunch we transported to another property five minutes away off Smith Road where Hunter is creating “Edaphos Wildlife Sanctuary”. He is Re-Wilding a 6 acre pasture through plantings, soil building and working with the water in the landscape. It is in the early stages of development but it shows where one can start in this journey and how one continues through those stages on into stability and eventually maturity. This land is a degraded pasture with labounty clay subsoil. Participants walked the water from the top of the catchment and observed that plants were growing better where the water was soaking in.
Hunter is a Soil specialist and runs a consulting practice. This property was a 6 ac. pasture that he is restoring to a wetland integrated system. The water earthworks was installed 2 years ago as a workshop.
An early main frame design of Hunter’s Property
Hunter explaining the project
Walking the swale berm planting
We learned more about their forest conservation efforts and Ecological forestry projects. Forest management practices being utilized in the surrounding area. Efforts to acquire and put land into the evergreen Land trust large tracts of critical forest areas that help manage the seasonal water flow into the south fork of the Nooksack River. Maintaining the health and quality of the water for salmon habitat and seasonal flow for the surrounding area. Maintaining the small water cycle.
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Sponsored by: Regenerate Cascadia and Transition Whatcom.
Co-sponsored by: Inspiration Farm, Edaphos Wildlife Sanctuary, River Farm, Kulshan Carbon Trust, ReSources, Whatcom Conservation District, Sustainable Bellingham and the Multi-faith Network for Climate Justice. We thank you for your work!
Donations to support this effort can be made at Regenerate Cascadia.
Remember, networking is all about building meaningful relationships and fostering connections. Approach each interaction with genuine interest, be open to new perspectives, and follow up with contacts afterward to maintain those connections. Hope everyone Enjoyed the tour and make the most out of your networking opportunities!
Please note that specific networking details for the Regenerating Cascadia tour in Whatcom County are still being worked out. Stay tuned to Regenerate Cascadia Bioregional Summit for the most current information and opportunities to get involved.
Regenerating the Cascadia bioregion involves implementing a holistic approach that addresses various aspects of sustainability, conservation, and community involvement. Here are some strategies that can contribute to the regeneration of the Cascadia bioregion:
- Conservation and Ecological Restoration: Protecting and restoring the natural ecosystems within the region is crucial for regeneration. This includes preserving forests, wetlands, rivers, and other habitats, as well as supporting initiatives for reforestation, habitat restoration, and the protection of endangered species.
- Sustainable Land and Resource Management: Implementing sustainable practices in agriculture, forestry, and land use is essential. This can involve promoting organic farming methods that reduce chemical inputs, adopting responsible logging practices, and encouraging environmentally friendly urban planning and development.
- Renewable Energy and Resource Efficiency: Transitioning to renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, and hydroelectric power, can help reduce reliance on fossil fuels and decrease greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, promoting energy efficiency in homes and businesses can contribute to the overall sustainability of the bioregion.
- Community Engagement and Education: Engaging local communities and raising awareness about the importance of the bioregion’s ecosystems are key. This can involve educational programs, public outreach campaigns, and initiatives that promote sustainable lifestyles and practices.
- Collaboration and Networking: Collaborating with government agencies, non-profit organizations, indigenous communities, and other stakeholders can foster a unified effort in regenerating the Cascadia bioregion. Sharing knowledge, resources, and best practices can lead to more effective solutions and positive change.
Remember, regenerating a bioregion is a long-term process that requires the ongoing commitment and participation of individuals, communities, and organizations. By collectively working towards sustainability and conservation, we can restore and enhance the natural beauty and resilience of the Cascadia bioregion.