Clarence Jordan Symposium Travel Carbon Offset Project

The Clarence Jordan Symposium is about good ideas.  Shane Claiborne has a great one on his website: 

Creation Care: Being mindful of the impact that our hyper-mobile pace and fuel-use have on Creation, and of the fragility of the current patterns of consumption that have led to wars over natural resources and the degradation of God’s earth, Shane has a commitment to offset the ecological impact of his travel.

This got us thinking: "What if every presenter had this expectation?"  We would have a big problem to solve.

Calculations estimating lbs of CO2 emissions that will be created by the Symposium presenters travel is over 12,000 lbs.  And that does not include the estimated 500 people that will attend the event. We estimated that the average participant will create over 450 lbs of CO2 emisions as they drive or fly round trip to Americus.  

It became clear that the old National Park slogan, "Take only memories and leave only footprints" would not be enough.  Our Symposium footprint will be huge!  So we came up with some projects to help erase our footprints!

Project one: Tree Planting La Florida, Peru

La Florida has very few trees. When the Fuller Center was founded in La Florida four years ago they had one tree in the whole village. That’s it. The only green thing in the whole town. Everything is brown from the ground, to the surrounding mountains, to the houses. But now the town is transforming. Now La Florida has over 500 trees and 28 colorful Fuller Center Houses. This has been a big step for the village because at first the community rejected the trees. A few jealous residents would go around killing the trees being planted but The La Florida Fuller Center team kept replacing them and their attitudes started to change. They began to see the importance of the trees and the community started taking care of them.

La Florida was once a seabed and receives less then 1/2 inch in rain a year.  The ground is rock hard and very salty making it really hard to grow anything. However, over the last couple of years the Fuller Center has learned about what will and won’t grow. They are also working with Peruvian tree experts to select appropriate trees.

In addition to building 10 new houses, the plan for the Millard Fuller Legacy Build is to plant 2500 trees during the week, with 1000 of the trees funded by the La Florida community. The trees will be a mixture of ficus, fruit, and flowering trees. Right now the streets do not have names. The plan is for each street to be named based on what is being planted. For example east to west streets will be named after fruit trees, like ‘Apple Street’ and on that street apple trees will be planted. Each house on that road will receive two ficus trees and one apple tree. The north to south streets would be names after trees/plants with flowers, like Rose Street. Two ficus trees will be planted along with a rose bush.

Depending on the type, a tree can sequester 5-50 lbs of carbon per year.  With your generous support we can erase our Clarence Jordan Symposium travel footprint. 

Recommended Travel Carbon Offset Donation $20 per participant.  

Other options and how to help:

Sponsor three trees for a family $12

Sponsor a street $240

All trees will be planted by volunteers and homeowners at The Millard Fuller Legacy Build in Peru which will occur during the week of September 1-7, 2012.

Project Two: Regenerative grasslands at Koinonia farm

In 2008, when Koinonia Farm made a commitment to sustainability and regenerative farming practices, they had their work cut out for them. Years of conventional row-cropping had left their open lands degraded, with not much other than bare soil and invasive weeds. Four years ago they converted the former crop land to an intensively managed pasture system for grass-fed beef cattle, and through permaculture design and holistic management practices they are restoring the natural balance of the 80-acre field. Bare ground is becoming the exception rather than the norm as they establish cover crops of nitrogen-fixing clovers and cool season grasses. Establishing ponds and swales along the keylines is allowing them to passively irrigate and mitigate erosion at the same time. They have already seen a vast increase in the number of bird species nesting in and around the field, including blue herons, migratory Canadian geese, and even a bald eagle. 

They have come very far, but still have a long way to go in establishing a fully sustainable model for the land so that they can demonstrate biological solutions for their farming neighbors in the South. They are still planning to establish better warm-season grasses, which will be especially important as the region heads into a sixth straight year of summer drought conditions. In addition to cover cropping, this year they will also begin applying compost teas in an effort to raise the content of organic matter and beneficial microorganisms in the soil.

It is estimated that an acre of grass can sequester 80-170 of carbon dioxide per year when it is part of an intensively managed, regenerative system. Please help Koinonia restore the health of their soils, animals, and the people they feed, while helping to eliminate your travel carbon footprint in the process.

Recommended Travel Carbon Offset Donation $20 per participant.  

Other options and how to help:

Sponsor the establishment of three pasture trees for $12

Fund a year of compost tea applications for $240

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Kirk —

This is so exciting!  Thanks for filling us in.  Stoked about the event in the fall and praying for all of you as you prepare.  It’s an honor to be conspiring together.  

All the best,


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