If you are stuck in the weeds, look at the ecosystem

This morning I’m writing about how action in the context ecological crisis will sometimes feel a long way from anything to do with nature.

I wrote this week about my reflections following reading ‘What if we stopped pretending?‘. One was that the ecological crisis will require action on many fronts to build resilience and support regeneration. On a day-to-day level, many of these actions will feel a long way from that greater cause, but it is important, I think to maintain a connection between the means and the ends.

This week and last I have had my head in helping my colleagues at Hazel Hill Wood with providing back-up power supply to our off-grid buildings. The sorts of things that need doing are negotiating contracts with suppliers, managing resources, working with the team to set objectives, thinking about fundraising.

All of this feels a long way from ecosystem regeneration and supporting people’s connection to nature, which are our aims for the wood, and my motivations in the project. But there is a thread that connects the two:

  • We bring people to the woods to do voluntary conservation work to restore the ecosystems and to create a space in which they can connect with nature.
  • The best experiences come when people stay for several days, and so we need buildings.
  • Our buildings are off-grid, in line with our mission
  • Off-grid buildings need power. As we bring more people in, we need more power.
  • New systems need installing, projects need managing, funds need to be gathered and resources controlled.

The experience is a reminder that if you are stuck in the weeds of the project, take a few steps back and see the weeds in the context of the wider ecosystem.

(I’ve written before about tasks that are mission aligned while not being very enjoyable in themselves – see the Happy Grid – and this stuff feels like a great example.)

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