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Advocating for environmental justice is one of Mariandale Center’s most pressing commitments. Co-Op for Earthsake is Mariandale’s multi-faceted environmental protection program that supports global and local causes, including the greatest threat: climate change.
Co-Op for Earthsake seeks to remind others that Earth is a sacred subject and living organism worth relating to as a mentor, teacher, and healer. Through direct experience with the natural world, people of all ages, beliefs, cultures and economies are invited to a range of activities from contemplative listening to work on the land.
Some of our most important environmental initiatives include:
Individuals and families grow fresh, organic food to eat and also to share with the weekly guests of the Ossining Food Pantry, so people living in poverty have fresh locally grown vegetables at least during the summer and early fall. We honor the diversity in planting and people, bugs and critters.
Environmental films were shared and discussed among them were films about the wonders of soil, the value of bees, the awakening of the Universe. The new series starts in early 2016.
We honor eco-beneficial ways of planting at the labyrinth for the bees, butterflies, organisms and the contemplative walkers.
We have hosted meetings of the Hudson Valley Natural Beekeepers. We now have our own six hives and a lead beekeeper, an associate beekeeper, two back-up beekeepers, one support person and many observers watching the bees forage and bring home pollen in the)-pockets on their back legs. We delight in learning from the bees, both the mystery and their mystical aspects as we learn to grow quiet and pay attention.
We have walked with a Native American woman, with our Mariandale staff, and with other Dominican women. Together we learn to listen to the sounds around and above us, the sights, shapes, textures, names and stance of the trees, the contours and texture of the land and how it speaks to us of its’ gifts and its needs. We have walked with homeless adults, persons with special needs, children and families. We witness how attentive and alive and quiet people get as they become aware of this awesome planet and how relaxed and restored they become as they relate to Mother Earth and absorb the wonders of the natural world.
Exploring “Art as a Tool for Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation” to build our community and cross-fertilize ideas and skills around relevant issues of our time. We focus on focus on immigration, refugees, and homelessness in particular. People will be invited to participate, and Mariandale will present a series of gallery displays open to the public, followed by a summit on the topic.
This year, Mariandale joined the Croton Climate Initiative (CCI) in promoting education about emerging issues of water and gas. Through educational meetings and speakers, neighbors gathered to learn more of the perils facing us and our place on the planet. Recently, with the AIM Pipeline and the immense Climate Change issue prompted by the International Conference in Paris, we joined on as supporters of “Peekskill to Paris” to rally support for Paris and to educate local residents about threats to our region’s safety.
We seek to awaken and partner with people of all ages, races, beliefs, and economies to a relationship with the natural world that is both active and transformative; one that offers tangible hope for the future.
For more information on Mariandale’s environmental initiatives and programs, please contact Bette Ann Jaster, OP, Environmental Programs Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org