Peddling a New Lifestyle

Originally posted at Conservation Nation, the SCA blog, on April 2nd, 2007. View the original post here.

A few weeks ago we got the first snow storm of the winter here in Western Massachusetts. My wife and I decided we would treat ourselves and order take out from a new restaurant in town called Sparky’s All American Food. Sparky’s was unique from the beginning. At first glance the menu suggests a classic burger and dog joint. They even serve corn-dogs, that magical combination of meat on a stick wrapped in a corn pancake and deep-fried.

However, on closer inspection it turns out all their meat is “locally-raised, grass-fed, humanely treated beef, chicken and pork with no hormones or antibiotics” and their burgers, dogs and fries, come with toppings like homemade chili, garlic, chive, and white cheddar cheese, or buffalo sauce and blue cheese. Their veggies are organic and locally sourced (as much as possible) and they make all their toppings in-house. Perhaps best of all, their corn-dogs are vegetarian. But this essay is not about their menu, it about their delivery. Continue reading

Moral Leadership

Originally posted at Conservation Nation, the SCA blog, on February 14th, 2007. View the original post here.

Almost everyone has heard at least some small snippet of Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous I Have a Dream speech, given at the March on Washington in August of 1963. It is one of the great speeches of our time. However, whenever I hear a recording of that speech, or see a video of it, I am struck by the moment just before Dr. King begins to speak. As he steps up to the podium, he is introduced to the crowd as the “moral leader” of the country. Perhaps this attribution seems so striking to me because it is hard to imagine someone in our society today being given such a moniker. Who is the moral leader of America today? What does moral leadership look like in 2007? A lot has changed since 1963—and a lot has not.

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Serving Land and People – Part Two

Originally posted at Conservation Nation, the SCA blog, on February 8th, 2007. View the original post here.Conservation That Builds Relationships

“Service has the power to connect people across generations, connect landscapes across geographies, and connect our work to a greater good.”

SCA offered me the opportunity to develop life-changing relationships. In SCA’s New York Adirondack AmeriCorps program I lived with 19 other corps members, three SCA staff, and two employees of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. I worked with teachers from LP Quinn Elementary School in Tupper Lake on curricula design, painted a community center with youth from Lake Placid, rebuilt the foundation of a ranger’s outpost with local stonemasons, constructed a lean-to with a forest ranger, helped to maintain a historic great camp with skilled carpenters, ran a naturalist club after school, repaired one of the last fire towers in the Adirondacks, and much, much more. The relationships I formed through SCA were not limited to the people I worked with, but extended to the landscapes I worked in. In service, people, landscapes, and the work at hand mingle, and it is difficult to talk about any one without the others.

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Serving Land and People – Part One

Originally posted at Conservation Nation, the SCA blog, on February 2nd, 2007. View the original post here.Connecting Soul, Soil, and Society

In recent years SCA has taken its work out of the wilderness and into the community, changing lives and serving nature in local classrooms and community venues as well as state forests and national parks. This is important because while SCA has long been helping young people develop an ethic of care and stewardship for the natural world, they are also now helping students build a civic ethic as well as a land ethic. More and more, SCA members are building communities as well as building trails.

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Building A Movement

Originally posted at Conservation Nation, the SCA blog, on January 24th, 2007. The original post can be viewed here.

Bill McKibben’s new initiative, Step It Up!, is creating quite a buzz in the green corners of the internet. Although McKibben has been a long time advocate for various environmental causes through his writing (The End of Nature, Enough, Hope Human and Wild, etc…) in the last five years he has become an increasingly prominent face and voice for the environmental movement, especially the fight against global climate change. Through his op-ed pieces in support of the proposed Adirondack wind park, his Vermont Global-Warming March, and his new book Deep Economy, McKibben is charging ahead on as many fronts as possible. He writes with beauty and passion, he speaks with a poetic urgency, and he is quickly proving himself an able organizer as well.

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