Reach Out And Connect

 

The Rusty Anvil

The Berkshires of Massachusetts

 

Raei Bridges

Raei@the-rusty-anvil.land

(818) 741 6557

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© 2016 The Rusty Anvil

Mission & Vision

The Rusty Anvil is an educational organization reconnecting marginalized communities to their place within the natural world through mindful wilderness trips and place-based skills while serving as a platform for cultural transformation.

 

  • We aim to build a supportive outdoor community through mindful wilderness trips and place-based skills that provide space for self-reflection and healing, intimacy with nature, and conscious environmental stewardship for people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, and low-income families.  Through both an Eco-psychological lens and a framework of mindfulness, The Rusty Anvil encourages marginalized folks to find both their authentic selves and their ability to be powerful environmental stewards of transformation. We encourage spaces that build a foundation of intimacy with the both our inner and outer landscapes.

  • We seek to begin holding ecological immersions that will offer a unique integration between education, recreation, conservation, and wellness. These immersions will empower participants to take environmental action by encouraging an intimate experience with the landscape. We intend for these immersions to serve as a platform for marginalized communities to learn skills of mindfulness, self-awareness, and emotional regulation through hands-on experiences of backpacking, mindful movement, wildlife observation, and data collection.

  • We seek to open a community school that models alternative education, collaborative sustainable lifestyles, and environmental stewardship and action while providing space and opportunity for marginalized individuals to cultivate and experience healing relationships with the environment and their human and more-than-human communities.

Our Philosophy & Values

The Rusty Anvil is a community based organization. These are the values that drive our work.

  • Finding Ourselves in Nature

  As marginalized individuals there have been many external forces that tell us who, how, and what to be. From the day we are born we are given a framework of how to achieve success, how to express ourselves, and how to be in relationship with the natural world. Through this discourse we have fought for not only our freedom and our identity, but we have come to see the correlation between the extraction of resources of the land, and our bodies. In nature there is no one to tell us who and how to be. The natural world provides space for us to find those answers for ourselves. When we cultivate intimacy with the natural world we are simultaneously cultivating that same intimacy in relationship to ourselves and our inner wisdom.


  When we choose to live our lives in closer relationship to the natural world we begin to form a sense of place that is foundational to our sense of identity in our internal and external environments. In a large industrial based system it may feel that we are only one replaceable cog in a vast over productive machine, but in nature we are a critical connection in the web of life. In our current fight for civil rights we need full community support and action to make legitimate changes through community-based initiatives. By using nature as a mirror, we can begin to empower communities to take action.

  • Supportive Outdoor Community

  Time in nature is proven to heal social, emotional, mental, and physical illness. In 1964 the environmental policy protected 9.1 million acres of wild space in an effort to provide the working man respite from his urban hustle. Through swift legislative movements exorbitant amounts of land became “protected” so individuals could experience the grandeur of the landscape to heal and find their truest selves.

 

  Unfortunately, the same opportunities in nature did not (and still don’t) exist in the same way for marginalized individuals. Instead environmental discourse and practice has excluded marginalized communities from environmental protections, education, recreation, and connection. Throughout history marginalized communities have been forced into experiences of pain, loss, or injustice in relation to the natural world. From our ancestral wounds to present day climate actions we find that marginalized communities have always fought at the intersection of environmental and social justice. When we gather at the forefront of these movements it is important that we build a network of support in the fight for our civil rights, while simultaneously healing ancestral wounds.

 

  The Rusty Anvil serves as a platform for building an authentic self-awareness and supportive outdoor community through mindful wilderness trips and place-based skills that empowers intimate connection to place, uplifts marginalized voices, and encourages environmental action.

 

  We seek to open a community school that models alternative education, collaborative sustainable lifestyles, and environmental stewardship and advocacy while providing space and opportunity for marginalized individuals to cultivate and experience healing relationships with the environment and their human and more-than-human communities.

  • Appreciation for Nature and Conscious Stewardship

  For many generations environmental discourse and practice has minimized the natural world to an expendable resource, a recreational pastime, and a scenic backdrop. Typically we engage with the natural world with a destination mindset or for extractive purposes. This has allowed for centuries of natural resource extraction, depletion, and exploitation. Our current way of relating to place in nature has validated placing ourselves at the top of the ecosystem, and has perpetuated generational division and separation from nature.

  When we re-frame the way we engage with the natural world we begin to develop an appreciation for the interconnectedness of all life on Earth, including ourselves. We no longer see ourselves as the apex predator and we realize that our quest for domination and control inevitably comes at the cost of our own freedom and well-being. This heightened awareness of our true place, our ancestral place, leads to a greater understanding of our role in the ecosystem and how that affects the biosphere. This will provide more genuine and substantial intentions behind environmental discourse, stewardship, policy, and action.