Co-Sponsored by the Greater Boston Group of the Sierra Club and Biodiversity for a Livable Climate
Video links below!
Saturday, March 31, 9 am – 4 pm
Harvard University,* Geological Lecture Hall
24 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA
- Local ecosystems can help us to weather the coming climate shocks.
- Learn about current efforts and new possibilities to protect and strengthen our local ecosystems.
- Afternoon workshops on practical ways you can help revitalize ecosystems in our yards, streets, neighborhoods, parks, wetlands and waters.
Tom Wessels, author of The Myth of Progress: Toward a Sustainable Future, on
Self-organization, Co-evolution, Resiliency, and Stability
Self-organization is a natural process—that, as a system grows it also becomes more complex. The talk will focus on how this process works in ecosystems via co-evolution to generate the incredible biodiversity we see in nature. Many examples of regional co-evolved relationships will be used to illustrate how co-evolution works. The talk then shows how this process is a wonderful model for creating sustainable human systems.
Lenni Armstrong is a leader of DePave Somerville, a community initiative developed with Somerville Climate Action. The city’s higher than average proportion of paved areas means greater flooding. By digging up asphalt driveways and putting in permeable pavers and green space, DePave is reducing the city’s potential for floods—and beautifying the city.
Maggie Booz is the co-chair of the Cambridge Committee on Public Planting. She is also an architect and the owner of SmartArchitecture in Cambridge, MA.
Dr. Anamarija Frankić is a founding director of the Green Harbors Project®, and the Biomimicry LivingLabs®, a research faculty at UMass Boston and University of Zadar, Croatia. She is a Biomimicry, Fulbright and Sea Grant Knauss Fellow. In 2014 she founded Biomimicry New England. Her educational background in biology, ecology, limnology and marine science, guided her interdisciplinary restoration research and management work in coastal, marine and fresh water ecosystems, nationally and internationally. Her work is about integrating human services with ecological services and functions in our built environments to support resiliency and sustainability.
She initiated and established the “LivingLabs” for applied science education and research where students, local communities and businesses are able to “learn and teach by doing” biomimicry, applying nature’s wisdom for a resilient today and tomorrow; her premise is that “the environment sets the limits for sustainable development.”
Zeyneb Magavi, Research Director for HEET and serves on the National Health Impacts Team and the Gas Leaks Task Force for Mothers Out Front.
John Pitkin, Greater Boston Group of the Sierra Club
John Reinhardt is the president of the Mystic River Watershed Association. He was an environmental policy analyst for the USEPA and MassDEP for over 35 years, and served as a conservation commissioner for the City of Somerville for 19 years.
Kannan Thiruvengadam is the president of Eastie Farm in East Boston, MA. He is an urban farmer and environmentalist who is passionate about regenerative design.
Tom Wessels is a terrestrial ecologist and professor emeritus at Antioch University New England. He is the author of The Myth of Progress, Towards a Sustainable Future, Granite, Fire, and Fog: The Natural and Cultural History of Acadia, Reading the Forested Landscape, and other books.
9:00-9:15 Welcome and Introductions
Moderator: John Pitkin, Greater Boston Group of the Sierra Club
9:15-9:45 Energy Execs, Ecosystems, and Alliances
Speaker: Zeyneb Magavi, Research Director for HEET and serves on the National Health Impacts Team and the Gas Leaks Task Force for Mothers Out Front.
9:50-11:00 Self-organization, Co-evolution, Resiliency, and Stability
Speaker: Tom Wessels, terrestrial ecologist and professor emeritus at Antioch University New England. Author of The Myth of Progress, Towards a Sustainable Future, Granite, Fire, and Fog: The Natural and Cultural History of Acadia, Reading the Forested Landscape and other books.
11:15–12:30 Practices of Eco-restoration
A Panel of Presentations and Discussion on Practices
Anamarija Frankic (Video), UMass Boston Green Harbors Project,
“Oyster Beds and Living Shorelines”
John Reinhardt, President Mystic River Watershed Association, “Reviving a River”
Maggie Booz (Video), Cambridge Committee on Public Planting, “Neighborhood Tree Stewardship”
Lenni Armstrong (Video), Depave Somerville, “Depave the Way”
Kannan Thiruvengadam (Video), Eastie Farm, “Building Soil and Growing Food and Community”
Brown bag or takeout from Clover Food Lab in Harvard Science Center or food trucks on Memorial Hall Plaza
1:30-3:30 Workshops on Practices of Ecorestoration (break 2:30-2:35)
FORMAT: (1) Presentations by practitioners, (2) small group break out and Q&A with practitioners, and (3) roundtable discussion of all on alliances and practices
NOTE: Videos not available for workshops.
1. Soils and Agriculture
Todd Breitenstein (Grateful Garden), Kannan Thiruvengadam (Eastie Farm), Lisa Brukilacchio and Aileen Bellwood (Somerville Community Growing Center)
Facilitator: Leigh Meunier (Somerville Climate Action)
2. Watersheds and Wetlands
Ellen Mass (Friends of Alewife Reservation), John Reinhardt (Mystic River Watershed Association), Lenni Armstrong, Brian Burke and Cador Pricejones (Depave the Way)
Facilitator: Kevin O’Brien (Sierra Club)
3. Urban Forest and Trees
David Meshoulam (Speak for the Trees), Maggie Booz (Cambridge Com mittee on Public Planting)
Facilitator: Susan Butler (Sierra Club)
4. Coastal Waters and Shores
Anamarija Frankic (Oyster Beds and Living Shorelines), Andrew Jay (Massachusetts Oyster Project), Phil Colarusso (U.S. Environ mental Protection Agency)
Facilitator: Quinton Zondervan (Green Cambridge and Cambridge City Council)
3:30-3:50 Report Back on Practices and Alliances
3:50-4:00 Wrap Up and Close
*This conference of the Sierra Club and Biodiversity for a Livable Climate is not a Harvard University program or activity. Neither organization is affiliated with Harvard University.