The North Shore of Massachusetts is strategic because of its proximity to important spiritual and intellectual ecologies such as Boston's diverse ecumenical environment and rich collection of thinkers and doers; social ecologies such as the burgeoning North Shore philanthropic and arts communities; and environmental ecologies such as the Great Marsh and North Eastern Forest. Together these communities offer interesting and dynamic opportunities for growth in caring for our region in ways that blend spiritual, relational, and environmental (SRE) disciplines.
Our North Shore program originated at a family farm in Hamilton, MA, and is now growing across the North Shore and Greater Boston area of Massachusetts. Here's a sampling of a few of our North Shore collaborations so far:
- Helping people create mission statements for their properties that encompasses their unique spirituality and goals;
- Offering educational opportunities for local Boy Scout groups to learn more about their community history, neighbors, environment, and ways to grow and share food;
- Supporting Boston University School of Theology retreats where students learn more about their environment, watersheds, and the contemplation and practice of spirituality within those spaces;
- Putting people in touch with licensed foresters, walking them through the process of obtaining Forest Stewardship Grants, and implementing the recommendations; https://www.mass.gov/service-details/forest-stewardship-program
- Connecting people with experts in pollinator-friendly plants and beekeeping such that they can care for both plants and hives on their property;
- Exploring and implementing ways to enrich church landscapes and elder care homes through community planting projects;
- Helping people and organizations activate both indoor and outdoor spaces on their property for food growing;
- Gathering food on smaller and mid-size scales and delivering the harvests to and through programs like The Food Project and Acord Food Pantry;
- Consulting with people as they install sustainable and environmentally-friendly systems including solar, composting, occupancy sensor lighting, robot lawn mowing, smart thermostats, etc. — all of which serve to save money, use resources in an intelligent and caring way, and conserve energy;
- Hosting team-building gatherings and theological summits in natural settings for ecumenical and community groups;
- Researching ways to improve the national prison system and regenerate the individuals within it by shifting to more restorative methodologies;
- Partnering with growers and environmental organizations on projects and events benefiting both nature and humankind;
- Organizing Harvest Dinners in support of partner organizations.