The Second Annual Interfaith Conference on
Care for Creation
was held APRIL 28, 2012 at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Roanoke, Virginia
speakers (from left): The Rev. Seamus Finn, Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility,
and The Rev. Kathleen
Monge, RN and Pastor, Fairview United Methodist Church.
speakers (from left): Laura Pole, founder and President of Eating for a Lifetime,
is a Health Supportive Gourmet Chef,
a Registered Nurse, Clinical Nurse
Specialist, Certified Nia Fitness Instructor and a professional
and Dr. Kerry Redican, Professor, Learning Sciences and Technologies, Virginia Tech.
Conference greeters (from top left): Dr. Suchitra Samanta, Instructor of Religion and Culture, Virginia Tech, from the Hindu community,
and Dr. Saleem Ahmed, Assistant Professor of Anatomy, The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, from the Muslim community.
Bottom (from left): Tom Cain, Executive Director, Impact&Amplify, the organic vegan lunch organized by Laura Pole.
Youth Day for Interfaith Creation Care, August 25, 2012, at Camp Bethel
Sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern
Virginia, Virginia Synod Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Virlina
District, Church of the Brethren, Catholic Churches of the Roanoke Valley,
Greene Memorial United Methodist Church, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church,
Baptist Church, Second Presbyterian Church, First Christian Church, Plowshare
Peace Center, Spirituality & Ecology Group
$15 per person includes lunch, program leadership, plus pool time (optional).
Register your group today at: www.CampBethelVirginia.org/ICC.htm
Camp Bethel, 328 Bethel Road, Fincastle, VA 24090.
For more information call 540-992-2940 or email email@example.com
here to download a flyer for the Youth Day Event
exists in time… published in the Roanoke Tribune August
The pattern for future development in the Roanoke Valley was determined
in prehistory. At the end of the last glacial period, between 12,500
and 10,000 years ago, animals began making their way along Lick Run
to the salt marshes and licks now buried under parts of downtown and
of the Norfolk-Southern railyard. They established a trail near present
Paleo-Indian hunters followed the game. To improve the area surrounding
the salt licks as a hunting ground, prehistoric people periodically
burned the surrounding land to promote the growth of forage. The “Barrens” they
created were the site of intermittent human settlement for 10,000 years
before Mark Evans claimed 1,900 acres for the first homestead in the
About 1740 Mark Evans began permanent settlement of the Roanoke Valley
by building his home at Evans Spring and establishing a mill at Crystal
Spring. A hundred and forty years later, the Norfolk and Western Railroad
cited the reliable supply of fresh water from Evans Spring and Crystal
Spring as a reason for choosing Big Lick as the site for its railhead.
The City of Roanoke was born.
Miraculously, Evans Spring and some other contiguous parts of the prehistoric "Barrens” survive
today. Absolutely irreplaceable historically and potentially crucial
for successfully mitigating the potential for flooding of downtown
Roanoke, the Barrens wetland and floodplain properties are currently
the subject of municipal planning discussions. Given what’s at
stake historically, environmentally and socially, the people of Roanoke
should insist that the city administration not rush the process.
Beginning where it all began, Roanoke's past, its present and its future
deserve full and careful examination, understanding, consideration
and sober judgment.
Roanoke exists in nature… Letter
to the editor submitted to the Roanoke Times Aug 13, 2011
The announcement for the public planning meetings on
the Evans Spring property describe the land as “vacant.” But,
the historic floodplain and wetlands of Evans Spring and Lick Run are
understood as working land. They reduce the potential for flooding
of downstream neighborhoods, Orange Avenue/Williamson Road, Roanoke’s
central business district and the Norfolk Southern railyard.
Given that Roanoke has flooded five times in the last seventy-five
years, the fact that city exist within nature and nature exists within
the city should not be dismissed lightly.
In all cases, any potential impact of proposed changes in land use
on Roanoke’s hydrology need to be understood as precisely as
possible and carefully weighed.
As yet, Roanoke has no such conceptual framework to assist sound
The current discussion considering land use changes to the critical
wetlands and floodplain at Evans Spring and along Lick Run should
not be rushed.
They should occasion the beginning of a public urban design process
that looks at and understands the city as a functioning, integrated
whole, not as a disjointed assemblage of parts.
“Blest be the tie that
for uniting Roanoke with a corridor for life-long learning)
submitted for publication in the August 18, 2011 edition of the Roanoke Tribune:
As readers of the Tribune know, Evans Spring is not
name scrawled on a map from the 1700s.” The spring on the property
is named for Mark Evans who claimed it about 1740 as part of the first
homestead built in the Roanoke Valley. As a part of “the
maintained by Paleo-Indians from perhaps 8,000 B.C., it is a site
of irreplaceable historic and cultural value.
As yet, the Commonwealth has no standard of learning for Southwest
Virginia history. But that doesn’t mean that the history
of this region is trivial. Far from it. Our region played a pivotal
the settlement of this continent by Europeans and African Americans.
The floodplain and wetlands of Evans Spring and the Lick Run Watershed
help to mitigate flooding of downstream neighborhoods, Orange Avenue/Williamson
Road, Roanoke’s central business district and the Norfolk
Southern railyard. The option of augmenting the natural topography
of the Evans
Spring land to increase the capacity of the property to temporarily
impound stormwater during potential disaster events deserves thorough
study and careful evaluation before any planning decision is made.
Roanoke has flooded five times in the last seventy-five years.
Along with low-impact development strategies (rain gardens, vegetated
permeable pavement, etc) implemented to restore the hydrology of
the Lick Run Watershed, allowing slow release of water impounded
days at Evans Spring could save money by helping extend the service
life of and improving the functioning of the city’s existing
Allowing for periodic temporary flooding, the Evans
could be developed as an internationally-themed nature reserve
and botanic garden teaching how to live safely, healthily, prosperously
+ peacefully within nature’s restorative capabilities. There
are places with climates similar to Roanoke’s on the Southeast
corners of every continent except Antarctica. Plant materials from
those places in Africa, India, China, Japan, Europe and Central and
South America could form the basis for teaching about the global environment
and how various cultures respond to it – their cuisines,
medicines, spiritual beliefs, etc. Beyond delighting everyone,
that kind of learning
would help equip students (of any age) for well-paid careers in
international business, sustainability science, public health,
Averting disasters, nourishing good health (preventative medicine),
cultural understanding, etc. could form the program for a new cultural
institution located in North Roanoke that would tie the entire
community together for the first time. With physical linkage along
Run Greenway among William Fleming, Countryside, Evans Spring,
Ed Center, the Culinary Institute, downtown, Jefferson College,
Virginia Tech-Carilion Medical School and Research Institute and
and conceptual linkage to Virginia Western, the Governor’s
School and Patrick Henry, Roanoke could develop a corridor for
that would make a visible statement about Roanoke’s intention
to honestly and proactively address its past by establishing environmental
and social justice as the reality of its developmental future.
Community by Design (published
in the Roanoke Tribune August 25, 2011)
The psychiatrist and noted author Scott Peck has written that we build
community out of crisis and we build community by accident, but we
do not know how to build community by design.
The problem with building community out of crisis, he contends, is
that once the crisis is over so is the community.
to Make Democracy Work” -
Final report of the Ninety-Ninth
American Assembly, Columbia University
Historic Evans Spring could be developed in ways bring people of
good will together - in full view of everyone - to establish and
proclaim social and environmental justice as core values for Roanoke's
future growth. That’s an idea that should not be let go of
Given the amount of vacant and underutilized property that already
exists, Roanoke probably does not need more commercial space. So
why should the “idea” to do that win out? Developers
should prove there is an actual need for what they propose.
The ancient, historic floodplain and wetlands of Evans Spring and
those along the Lick Run Watershed are valuable to the entire region – not
just the city. They cry out for development that doesn't do violence
to nature, history or community.
There are ways to develop that North Roanoke property to definitively
and visibly proclaim an end to the less worthy parts of the history
of the past while initiating permanent programs and creative connections
that would secure a united, safe, healthy, prosperous and peaceful
We are proposing that an internationally-themed nature reserve and
botanic garden could be developed as an immense asset for Roanoke
and the headwaters region - environmentally, culturally, financially
socially. If this sounds like something you will want to help bring
about, join in the planning by participating in the next planning
session set for 10:00 a.m. Saturday, September 17 at the Community
on 15th Street and Melrose Avenue, N.W.
Perhaps you have a better idea. When city staff ask what you want
to see, give it some thought before you give them an answer. If
some time, require that you get it. Whatever you do, don’t
drop out of the planning process, abdicating responsibility for
Encyclopedia of Earth is a free, peer-reviewed,
searchable collection of content about the Earth, its natural
and their interaction
with society, written by expert scholars and educators.
Living within Nature: Integrated whole
The typical analytical process involves taking things apart to understand
them. However the essential properties of living systems exist in the whole,
not in the individual pieces. When we study environments and cultures,
we must recognize and respect the connections among parts, in context with
each other, and with the whole.
living systems are interdependent, resources applied to solve one problem
may contribute to the solution of others. The value and
of investments of talent, time and treasure can be leveraged when
we think and act at the level of whole systems.
Collaborative proaction for cumulative beneficial change
environmental problems often result from cumulative negative effects
of many small adverse actions taken over time. Each of
us can contribute
individually to their solution. However, it is through informed
and coordinated collective action among the many businesses, governments,
and civil society institutions (including faith communities) that define
our culture that we shall achieve cummulative improvements that signify
at the level of watershed ecosystems.
do not have the luxury of endless time to stop making mistakes and
correct the ones we have made. Among our essential tasks is to figure
out how to learn and work collaboratively and how to sustain positive
collective proaction. That is Impact+Amplify's purpose and utility.
Averting disasters or mitigating their potential for harm
Most disasters ("natural," health and social)
can be averted by learning to live safely, healthily, prosperously
within nature's restorative capacity. Humans must choose to adapt
and sustaining environments and cultures in balance with
nature, however imperfectly we understand it. That is both the challenge
and the opportunity
of our age - and of our locale.
Society Organization (an “NGO” defined
as what it is, not what it isn’t.)
Without imposed limitations of time, place or subject matter, Impact
+ Amplify uses all the flexibility inherent in being
a civil society organization
to teach and promote integrated whole systems thought
and proaction at both ecosystemic and cultural scale. We seek to enable life-long
and sustained productive collaborations among people of good
Often it is necessary to catalyze, facilitate and sustain
connections and working relationships among governments, agencies,
businesses, and organizations that, though understanding
of and potential for flexible,
creative collaborations, may be restricted (within "silos")
by jurisdictional boundaries or established
the American Assembly's document, "Collaborating
to Make Democracy Work" about the creative role civil
society institutions play in facilitating collaboration with government
and businesses and with each other. [ See the Resources
section of this website.]
civil society institutions are not restricted by business or electoral
cycles, we are able to initiate and sustain long-range
vision and creative
proaction through the extended periods of time that may
be needed to achieve beneficial and meaningful environmental and
the "Age of the Anthropocene" and "The Ecozoic
Age" in the Resources
section of this website.
in creation: Humans are centered in creation
by our ability to look both outward and inward at nature.
outward at nature:
Preserving, restoring and enhancing
the hydrology and biodiversity of watershed ecosystems through
low-impact development of
forest and farm land and of the
built environment [Please
see the “Mountains
to Sea” section of this
Looking inward at nature:
Nourishing health; physical, intellectual
and spiritual [Please see the “Nourishing
of this website. There your can download and fill
out forms to create a personal
medical history and a medical
Facilitating creation of a green and ethical
regional economy that
values and accounts both natural and human capital.
There is no environmental justice that does not include social
see the “Green
and Ethical Economy” section
of this website]
“Genius Loci” (the
spirit of place) How the environment has shaped and continues to shape history
(plate tectonics, geology,
topography, hydrology, biology and anthropology) [Please
see the “Mountains
to Sea” section
of this website.]
• The headwaters region: send solutions downstream (physically and metaphorically)
• The Great Warrior Path, The Philadelphia Wagon Road, the Carolina
Trail and the Wilderness Trail Consciousness about how
have people lived within nature and how mountain and river ecosystems have shaped
by culture through time (past, present and future).
Development of a regional
natural and social history S.O.L.
some extent, people may have success distancing themselves from the majority
culture. But no one exists outside of nature. Beginning with responsibility
for the health of our own bodies, each of us must manage part of nature.
possible, Impact + Amplify seeks to work with and through existing
institutions of our culture (partners and stakeholders). We invite
personal participation in and financial support of our inclusive process
of thought and proaction and in our evolving programs by individuals,
faith or cultural communities, members of the Blue Ridge Environmental
Network (BREN), cultural and educational institutions, governments,
businesses and industries.
contributions may be made through the Impact account, c/o
the Plowshare Peace Center, POB 4367, Roanoke 24015.
see: The American
Assembly’s document, “Collaborating
to Make Democracy Work” about the creative
role civil society institutions play in facilitating
and business and with
each other [a copy is posted in the Resources section
of this Website].
Strategies: contact information