To Heal the World,
Look to the Ground.
Sacred Ground Initiative supports an emerging community of conservationists, activists, spiritual leaders, educators, writers, artists and many others being brought together in deep love of nature and a desire to connect with others who experience the natural world as beloved kin.
Sacred Ground Council
The Sacred Ground Council is the formative directing body of the initiative, composed of people committed to restoring sacred, personal relationships to the Land.
Planted throughout North America, we are calling on each other for diversity in wisdom, experience, spiritual practices and traditions, fields of study, and cultural backgrounds in order to shape and guide this project.
Veronica Kyle directs all of Faith in Place’s Chicago outreach programs, seeking to engage people who are often not involved in conversations around Earth care, including African-American, Latino and affluent suburban communities. She has done this by creating programs that bring about diversity and cross-cultural community engagement. Previously, she lived and worked for 12 years in the Caribbean and Southern Africa for a faith-based organization in the areas of social justice and development.
Fred Bahnson is a writer and teacher whose work focuses on the intersection of ecology, sustainable agriculture and contemplative spirituality. He is the author of Soil & Sacrament and co-author with Norman Wirzba of Making Peace with the Land. His essays have appeared in Harpers, Oxford American, Image, Orion, The Sun, Christian Century, and Best American Spiritual Writing. He is an assistant professor at Wake Forest University School of Divinity, where he directs the Food, Health, and Ecological Well-Being Program. He lives in North Carolina.
Nikki Cooley serves as the co-manager for the Tribal Climate Change Program at the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals, where she helps tribes across the nation learn about and plan for adaptation to climate change. Nikki is of the Diné (Navajo) Nation by way of Shonto and Blue Gap, Arizona. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s of Forestry, with an emphasis in ecological restoration and traditional ecological knowledge, from Northern Arizona University. She also works as a river guide and cultural interpreter on the Colorado River-Grand Canyon and San Juan River.
Kailea Frederick is a mother and First Nations woman who grew up off the grid in Maui, Hawai`i, an experience that imprinted the importance of reciprocity through indigenous world-view. She is a graduate of the International Youth Initiative Program, a Spiritual Ecology Fellow, and a two-time youth delegate to the United Nations Climate Change conferences. Kailea is founder of Earth Is `Ohana, an immersive and adaptable environmental educational framework that explores the question, “How do we practice returning home to our landscapes in order to regenerate our relationship with the earth?”
Geneen Marie Haugen
Geneen Marie Haugen is a writer, wilderness wanderer, scholar and guide to the intertwined mysteries of nature and psyche with the Animas Valley Institute. She serves on the faculty of the Esalen Institute, Schumacher College and the Fox Institute for Creation Spirituality. Her writing has appeared many journals and books, including Spiritual Ecology: The Cry of the Earth; Thomas Berry: Dreamer of the Earth; Parabola Journal; Ecopsychology Journal; DailyGood.org; Kosmos Journal; High Country News; and others. She now lives amid the creatures and features of southern Utah’s sandstone labyrinth.
Shamu Fenyvesa Sadeh is the co-founder and director of Adamah, a 10-acre educational farm in Falls Village, Connecticut, dedicated to sustainable practices. There he teaches Judaism and ecology, turns the compost piles, maintains the orchards, and supervises and mentors staff and Adamah Fellows. He has been a farmer, professor of environmental studies, writer and wilderness guide. Drawn to the integration of soul and soil, he works for the creation of a fruitful ecological landscape that builds confidence, mindfulness and community among participants.
Michael Martinez is a certified master gardener, a former elementary school teacher and the founder and executive director of L.A. Compost. The organization began in 2013 as a collection of volunteers collecting organics on bikes from restaurants, homes and schools. It now creates community compost hubs throughout Los Angeles county, in places such as churches, schools, gardens and workplaces. The hubs compost organics locally while creating shared spaces for people to connect with each other and the natural world.
Victoria Loorz, a Wild Church pastor in Bellingham WA, has been inviting people deeper into their true identities and a more intimate experience of God in nature for more than 25 years. A former climate activist and “indoor pastor,’ she recognized that her two careers were not separate. After founding the first Church of the Wild in Ojai, California, she began the Wild Church Network and Seminary of the Wild, a training program to re-Wild the Christian story and calling. She leads the development of the Sacred Ground Initiative for Kairos Earth.
Sacred Ground Initiative
With the support of the Kalliopeia Foundation, the first steps in this project have been taken by Kairos Earth — a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting a growing community of people who view Nature as an expression of sacred reality.
At this stage this initiative is seeking partnerships, alliances, and collaborations with the greatest diversity of voices and ways of connection to the land.