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.

Featured speaker:

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.


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.

11:00-11:15 Break

11:15–12:30 Practices of Eco-restoration
A Panel of Presentations and Discussion on Practices
NOTE: Videos for Reinhardt, Booz and Thiruvengadam will be available soon.

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”

12:30-1:30 Lunch
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.