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20. July 2018 · Comments Off on NGO Solidarity: A Case Study · Categories: Articles

 

Andrew Van Gorp 20 July, 2018.

The Theosophical Society made mention to our Sustain DuPage Gardeners last season that they hoped we would implement a practice of permaculture on their grounds… the following collaboration is a great example of how coalition building and solidarity can work in DuPage County between Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)!

Lindsay Zimmerman, Sustain DuPage Gardeners Director, sprang into action. Lindsay’s work perfectly demonstrates the abundance philosophy of Sustain DuPage. Instead of seeing this permaculture garden project as a way to build on the laurels of Sustain DuPage, Lindsay questioned how this garden project opportunity could be utilized to build stronger relationships between our fellow eco-nonprofits in the region!

The Resiliency Institute (TRI) out of Naperville is DuPage County’s premiere nonprofit focused on a permacultural approach to agriculture. With a scarcity mentality, our nonprofit would view TRI as our greatest “competitor” for the Sustain DuPage Gardeners mission project. This is how our system is set up in the USA- reckless capitalism extends its reach even into the nonprofit sector, warping the good-intentioned minds of those who would seek to better the world through the pursuit of nonprofit status. By rejecting this paradigm, we commit to the ideal of an abundance mentality- i.e. seeing TRI as our greatest ally in the fight to transform our County into a hub of sustainability culture. In sustainable living, there is not competition, only collaboration.

So when the Theosophical Society asked Sustain DuPage to implement a permaculture garden, Lindsay instead reached out to TRI to ask if they would be willing to provide consultation and a fruit tree guild design.

Outcomes:

-The Theosophical Society financed the purchase of the plants from TRI, furthering TRI’s capacity to create even more gardens in the future!

-TRI provided expert consultation, a garden design, and plant sourcing- beautifying the grounds of the Theosophical Society!

-Sustain DuPage facilitated the project by bringing the two parties together and community organizing the volunteer labor for installation- gaining a new demonstration model for the education of DuPagers about this approach to agriculture and land management!

-DuPage County gained a 15 foot diameter perennial permaculture garden which will provide many pounds of free medicine, food, dye, and fiber every growing season, into perpetuity!

THIS is how we build community resilience.

THIS is how we strengthen our DuPage sustainability culture:

by clinging to the understanding that we are stronger when we work together than when we work alone!

Sustain DuPage can’t operate without your support. Find out here all the ways you can involve yourself!