What We Need is Here

Getting Creative About Sustainable Living in the St. Croix Valley

Sustainability 401 - Phipps Presentation 2/25/10document - K. Cain

whatweneedNews of threats to our environment, economy and society tell us our ways of living are being challenged.  How can we turn these challenges into an opportunity to create sustainable, vibrant and imaginative communities?  What would that look like in the St. Croix Valley? What if, as author and environmentalist Wendell Berry wrote, “What we need is here?”

What We Need is Here is a network of nonprofit groups united to spark local action toward sustainable living in the St. Croix Valley. Our monthly e-newsletters cover a broad range of topics including food, transportation, energy use, and more as it all pertains to our Valley.

Our aims:

To define and articulate the concept of sustainability as it relates specifically to the St. Croix Valley.

To increase public understanding of related issues through experiences in the visual and performing arts, opportunity for interaction with leading scholars and experts, participation in community-based working groups, media outreach, and ready access to on-line resources.

To build support for a coordinated watershed-wide effort to adopt policies and practices that promote sustainability, drawing from existing models that have proven successful in other settings.*

To foster a strong sense of community among St. Croix Valley residents—a watershed identity that crosses political boundaries and is inclusive of people of all ages, cultures and economic levels.

To engender enthusiasm and hope—grounded in action—for a positive future for the St. Croix Valley: a future in which residents may enjoy a high quality of life, economic vitality, greater security associated with reduced reliance on outside resources for basic food and energy needs, a healthy natural environment, and the many rewards that arise from a vibrant culture rich in the arts.

* In particular, the framework and principles of The Natural Step, an international sustainability program and network that originated in Sweden in 1989.

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