Reinhabit the Hudson Estuary

Besides there being a lot of NY-CA energy around me these days, this project is important because it honors the human imagination in relationship with the human and other-than-human world. And speaks to beauty. I also like the boldness to publish the project as a “Bundle” (like old folios?), being free from binding, so that each page may have its own life separate from the Bundle.

Support the publication of a Bioregional Bundle, which includes art, poetry, ideas and practices for reinhabitation or living-in-place.

A Kickstarter campaign finishing on Wednesday, May 18, 2016. New Paltz, NY

About this project

Reinhabitation is the bioregional project of living-in-place whose foundations have remained rather constant and sturdy over time. Many would begin with this statement by Aldo Leopold, from his Sand County Almanac: “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” The practical consequences of this enduring wisdom are to enlarge our sense of community to include water (and watersheds), plants, animals and soil and to assume a worth to them beyond an instrumental value for humans.

Leopold’s land ethic serves as a starting point for Thomas Berry’s articulation of the “earth community,” within which the human is embedded and is the source of celebration, creative inspiration and sustenance.

Ray Dasmann and Peter Berg write, “Living-in-place means following the necessities and pleasures of life as they are uniquely presented by a particular site, and evolving ways to ensure long-term occupancy of that site ….. Simply stated, it involves applying for membership in a biotic community and ceasing to be its exploiter.”

Berg offers the following cornerstones for reinhabitory practices: restore and maintain natural systems; develop sustainable means for satisfying basic human needs; and create and support a broad range of activities that make it possible to fit better into the life-place.

We are asking for help to print a Bioregional Bundle, which is a collection of art, writing and ideas that strive to anchor themselves in this vibrant context, while encouraging an appreciation of how wildness is central to land-based customs and community building (and is a counterbalance to the increasing virtualization of everyday life).

The Bioregional Bundle will include the following:

• A helpful Hudson Estuary map showing watersheds, forest communities and totem animals.

• Art Murphy’s powerful fossil photographs establish the presence of a deep prehuman past, often forgotten.

• George Tukel looks at how neighborhoods can become more self-reliant and convivial once they are located within bioregions.

• Carol Zaloom’s linocut prints and Mikhail Horowitz’s prose remind us of the eternal collision between the wild and cultivated worlds.

• Evan Pritchard, of the Micmac people, researches how Hudson Valley Native Americans, in the late 1600s and early 1700s, met basic needs in parallel to the European money economy.

These pieces are rooted in the Mid-Hudson Valley of New York but were intended to speak across bioregional borders and to diverse communities working to translate place identity into practical day-to-day activities.

It is important to emphasize that the contents of the Bioregional Bundle are composed and ready for printing which this Kick Starter effort is raising the money for.

We are seeking $6,650 to print 1,000 copies of the Bundle. Most will be distributed freely through local grassroots watershed groups, as a “potlatch” styled gift, and around 350 will go to Planet Drum Foundation, a not-for-profit bioregional networking organization out of San Francisco, California, for their national membership.

More at:

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