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2008, Living Mandala
creative services by: 360 Degrees

Community Projects

In recognizing this as a time of great creativity, transformation and manifestation, Living Mandala is committed to education and project initiatives for on-the-ground eco-social regeneration that leave positive, tangible impacts for communities, organizations, and the planet at large. Following is a listing of some of our community project initiatives, large and small, catalyzed by the dedication and inspiration of those seeking to make the world a more environmentally harmonious and socially just place. We are seeking to further empower the vision, scope, and effectiveness of these project initiatives in the world and invite your support. If you wish to support any of these projects or have a collaborative project you are looking to showcase, please contact us. For more information on specific projects, see the listings below.

350 Home & Garden Challenge!

May 14 -15 2011

Sonoma County, California & Across the United States

On May 14th & 15th, 2011 thousands of people across the country will rise to the challenge to create more sustainable, resilient communities by participating in the 350 Home & Garden Challenge! The 350 Garden Challenge was inspired in part by the 350.org's international campaign to find and implement solutions to climate change. Coming off the incredible success of 628 garden actions in Sonoma County, California in a single weekend in the spring of 2010, this year the 350 Home & Garden Challenge is going national seeking to engage citizens, organizations, local businesses, media and civic leaders to grow food, save water & conserve energy to strengthen the resliliency of local communities across the country. Being lead nationally by Tranition U.S., this exciting initiative has quickly brought on partners such as 350.org, Post-Carbon institute, Chelsea Green Publishing, Evolver, BALLE, and a growing number of transition initiatives, inspired citizens, and community activists from east to west. Read More.

350 Garden Challenge - 2010!

On a single weekend, May 15-16, 2010, 350 Sonoma County landscapes will be transformed into bountiful gardens, which save water and carbon emissions, grow food and habitat, and promote greywater and low-impact development, all while educating and empowering community and supporting local businesses. This can be as simple as planting a fruit tree or a tomato plant in a pot. But it is also an opportunity to create innovative gardens on front yards, apartment patios, school and church grounds, and business premises. The 350 Garden Challenge was inspired in part by the 350.org international campaign to find and implement solutions to climate change. We use the term "waterwise" to emphasize the need to conserve water in all aspects of life including as we increase local food production.

Daily Acts, iGROW Sonoma, GoLocal & Living Mandala are collaborating with the Sonoma County Water Agency and dozens of community groups and companies to create the 350 Garden Challenge. This county-wide project will engage citizens, organizations, local businesses, media and civic leaders to save water and improve access to healthy, fresh local food while positioning Sonoma County as a national leader in the local food movement and water conservation.

The 350 Garden Challenge planning team, together with community organizers, will assist residents with garden planning and design, water management, access to materials, team building, and documentation. Step up to the challenge and register your garden here online at www.igrowsonoma.org. For more information click here.

350 Climate Challenge 10/10/10

Global Work Party

October 10, 2010

Planet Earth & Sonoma County, CA

A coalition of Sonoma County organizations and citizens who came together to organize the 350 Garden Challenge - which installed a record 629 Gardens in Sonoma County, CA in a single weekend in May of 2010, are continuing the initiative alongside other organizations and joining 350.org’s International Campaign for Climate Change Action and the 10/10/10 Global Work Party. This coalition is working together organizing local actions and launching the 350 Climate Challenge enrolling people to reduce their carbon footprint and to engage in climate protection projects locally and around the county. The goal of the 350 Climate Challenge is to enroll at least 10,000 people to pledge to reduce their personal and community carbon footprints. Get involved with the international day of climate action, join 1,000’s of people in Sonoma County and the world at large, and pledge to reduce your carbon emissions by taking the climate challenge and/or get involved with a community work party. The time is now. Read More.

Food Forests Across America!

In an uncertain economy and changing world, local food security is an essential element to becoming sustainable in this emerging Green Economy. Food Forests Across America is a loosely affiliated group of permaculture designers organizing around the initiative to transform lawns, parks, gardens, and empty spaces into thriving edible landscapes that are beautiful, regenerative, and produce an abundance of delicious, locally grown food! Food Forests Across America appeared on Visionary Culture Radio in April 2009, at Harmony Festival in June of 2009 showcasing a demonstration food forest garden, giving interactive tours, and hosting a panel discussion of permaculture designers. Food Forests Across America will also be at Earthdance on September 25-27 2009. Members of this group or permaculture designers are actively organizing workshops, projects, and initiatives installing food forest gardens around the country. We are seeking to raise money to build a website to more closely link together our work and the work of other permaculture designers and food foresters around the country, to showcase and promote food forests workshops and projects, and to powerfully inoculate this initiative into the culture at large. For more information on the campaign contact: forestgarden(at)livingmandala(dot)com

What is a Food Forest Garden?

Food forests are diverse gardens modeled after natural ecosystems designed to mimic the way a forest thrives and regenerates. A forest continuously nourishing all elements in the system and produce a vast diversity of outputs, but requires little or no inputs to sustain itself. By recognizing the self-supporting, mutually beneficial relationships of the elements in a forest - from tall trees, smaller trees, shrubs, herbs, ground covers, vines, nitrogen fixers, insectaries, fungi, animals, and more, the food forest garden designs a similar system but replaces the components that are in a common forest with species that are preferred edibles and more useful for humans. The forest then becomes a Garden of Eden, in which edible or useful plants are found from head to toe, where something in season is always ready to eat, and the system requires little or no maintenance to sustain and regenerate.

Food Forests Across America on Visionary Culture Radio

On Monday, April 6th, 2009 the Food Forests Across America campaign went live with 6 permaculture designers from bioregions representing the east to west coasts of the U.S. appearing on Visionary Culture Radio.

Guests Included:

Erik Ohlsen - Founder & Director - Permaculture Earth Artisans

Ethan Roland - Founder & Director - AppleSeed Permaculture

Marisha Auerbach - Founder & Director - Herb 'n Wisdom

Max Meyers - Director - Mendocino Ecological Learning Center

Jay Ma - Co-Founder, Director of Programs and Development - Living Mandala

John Valenzuela - Veteran Permaculture Designer, Educator & Consultant

                                                                        To listen to the show

                                                                        click the link to the left.

Gaia University Bay Area Regional Center

Living Mandala is working with Gaia University International on the establishment of a Regional Center of Gaia University in the San Francisco Bay area in conjunction with other local organizations such as the Regenerative Design Institute and others.

Gaia University is a growing international institution for higher learning rooted in permaculture principles and ethics offering accredited degree programs for real-world action in self and planetary transformation. This forming Regional Center of Gaia University in the Bay area is looking to partner with local organizations, businesses, and communities to bring accredited action-learning degree pathways for real-world action for world-changers working for local and global sustainability, justice, and peace. Action-learning degree pathways can include self-directed project work, internships, employment, or affiliation with other educational courses, workshops, and programs of study. Associates have access to a powerful global network of leaders, advisors and peers offering support and guidance in the development, implementation and documentation of their degree pathway project work.