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Sustainable communities conference July 25-27

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Update: This three-day conference is now a series of one day events, with Diane Leafe Christian leading the first on July 26. The dates of the others are to be announced. Cost is $25 in advance, $35 at the door. We apologize for the confusion.

You may have heard it said among these pages that there is no agricultural sustainability without economic sustainability. In other words, those in the business of producing food, who choose to sell directly and locally, have to be able to make a living. However, not everyone has the right talents to be a farmer, so this idea needs to be applied more broadly. That's where sustainable communities begin.

"A sustainable community is a healthy community—one that is resilient, socially and economically, as well as responsible, ecologically and culturally." This is the idea behind this year's EarthSpirit Rising Conference at the Grailville Retreat Center in Loveland. Keynote speakers include Peter Block, author of Community: The Structure of Belonging, Diana Leafe Christian, writer of Creating Life Together and Finding Community, Jim Schenk, a co-founder of Enright Ridge Urban Eco-Village, and Sr. Marya Grathwohl, OSF, founder and director of Earth Hope, who will talk about lessons to be learned from religious communities that may help inform sustainable ones.

Peter Block will lead participants in the formation of a community at the conference, and all keynote speakers will help examine what defines a community, and what it means to be part of one.

Workshops will also be led by these speakers, as well as by representatives of other ideas within the intentional community movement, such as eco-villages, co-housing, and aging in place. The conference's intended focus is how to form intentional communities within existing ones, using extant buildings.

The conference will take place July 25-27, 2014 at Grailville Retreat Center, and will be presented by Imago Earth Center. Registration is available online, or by calling 513-921-5124.

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