Want to share your story on the InCommons blog? Send your blog ideas to blog@InCommons.org today!
Anne Queenan shares her stories of three collective community efforts in western MN that InCommons helped support.
Follow a community, like in Le Sueur, where a conventional farmer works with the Soil and Water Conservation District Manager, Marla, to convert his family farm from crop fields that continually flooded along the Le Sueur River into a wildlife sanctuary that holds back the water and fosters a natural habitat. Now, similar landowners are engaged and working together to make recommendations, along with soil and water experts, on how to improve the condition of the river in their watershed.
In the Upper Minnesota River Valley, folks have been gathering to talk about what they want to see happen in their area. Several listening sessions have been held to ask, "What can we do together that makes life more sustainable here?"
Art, art, art. It keeps coming up. Celebrate the people and place and generate more life and action down on Main Street, along the river and in the countryside.
These listening sessions use what's called Open Space technology, which in essence means everyday people suggest projects and topics of interest and other participants who want to explore that idea and collaborate, join in. From there, things happen. And these people get it done. Momentum grows.
In Granite Falls, the sixth graders from Bert Raney Elementary School identified that they wanted to build art bike racks and encourage folks to bike around town and down to Prentice Street for some popcorn.
Editor’s Note: Kathy Jourdain is an Art of Hosting trainer, and was the lead trainer on the hosting team for the training that took place in the Phillips Community in South Minneapolis this past September. This post originally appeared on her blog, Shapeshift.
Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing,
there is a field.
I will meet you there.
Rumi’s words, with a slight variation, encapsulate the experience of an amazingly culturally and age diverse group of participants, apprentices and hosts who gathered September 11-14, 2012 in the middle of the Phillips Community of South Minneapolis where all of us discovered there is a field beyond difference and we are willing to meet each other there.