News & Updates

June 3, 2020

Executive Director Update – June 2020

It’s June and the start of Summer. COVID-19 continues to be a threat to global health, and has underscored at all levels how every part of our work, activities, production, climate, economic and community wellbeing is interconnected. Research is showing that an estimated 81% of the world’s workforce has been hit by the full or partial stay-in-place orders. Governments are focusing on emergency economic relief, while at the same time beginning to move from “rescue” to “recovery” mode. Information and orders continue to evolve daily in regard to the challenges and deep inequities created and magnified by the virus. It has deeply unsettled society, and at the same time, the aftermath may provide a once-in-a-lifetime chance to reimagine civilization.[i]  An example is allowing, nurturing and increasing biodiversity, “rewilding” where humans reverse the thinking of identifying nature exclusively in economic environmental “services” terms only. We all know that a homogenous, one-only system is counter to nature, to living structures and vitality at every level. A system that feeds life and nourishes health is diverse in every way: a forest, revenue, the human body, crops, a diet. Our brain and nervous system thrive with rich, colorful sensory input. As the virus mandated a halt to business-as-usual human activity and impact, we saw evidence that graphically demonstrated how quickly the Earth can begin healing.  This is the perfect time to build on this progress. We most certainly will not be able to go back to things as they were.

Addressing the challenge in a systemic way acknowledges that public health and climate are intricately bound together. A disease that originated thousands of miles away can show up in our community in a day or less. The landscaping industry is one of the major economic sectors that could provide particularly strong returns in terms of both rebooting economies, creating jobs and advancing climate goals. Industrial agriculture and food production is the second biggest contributor of global carbon emissions behind the energy industry.[ii]  Coronavirus-triggered job loss constitutes a once-in-a-generation opportunity to recast all aspects of our infrastructure and regenerative land use. Green jobs address both the ecology/climate change AND drive recovery for the economy.

Our goal is to be among the leaders in supporting you get to work to rebuild a robust economy. We  continue our focus on job creation, equity and marketplace development in an industry that serves society’s long-term interests. Your work in regenerative, whole systems earthscaping that addresses climate change is more essential and possible than ever. This is the opportunity for us to build local resilience: energy preparedness, local healthy food security, community water and energy safety, address inequality and enhance a thriving and prosperous community.

We want to hear from you. What are you experiencing in relation to your work, to revenue, to changes in contracts? Participate in our survey; let us know how we can refine and potentize our support. And feel free to email me directly. As we establish our budget for next fiscal year, let’s vision and plan how we can rise up and move forward together.

“…Every successful social movement in history has been driven at its core by a narrative that drove people to do amazing things.”      -John Hagel.

Warmly and with gratitude,

Milena Fiore, Executive Director


[i] Keats, Jonathan: “As Cities Re-Open, These Visionary Architects Will Help Improve Supply Chains And Disease Prevention.” Forbes, May 22, 2020.

[ii] Vn, Aswin: “Going Native to Fight the Climate Crisis.”, March 25, 2020.


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