The Rusty Anvil is an educational organization reconnecting to the medicine of nature and their place within themselves and the natural world through mindful wilderness trips and place-based skills workshops.
I seek to provide education those seeking to reconnect to the nature and find ways to build cooperative community through commonalities on the land.
I intend to open a land-based project to bring communities back to the land through farming, wildlife conservation, and mindfulness based nature workshops and trips. This space will serve as a cooperative community space that teaches and models self-awareness, communal living, land stewardship, and community sustainability.
I aim to remove barriers faced by people of color and LGBTQ+ communities when accessing nature and provide affordable workshops and trips, safe spaces in the outdoors, and education on wildlife conservation and ecology at The Rusty Anvil Wilderness Community School.
In the recent years I have truly come to understand the ways that racism, trans-phobia/homophobia, and oppression has served as a tool to exclude people of color and LGBTQ+ communities from the outdoors. This systemic oppression has ingrained messages that we do not belong in the natural world both throughout history, and in current times.
Through my work in mindfulness-based nature connection, I engage participants to come to understand how these ancestral experiences have led to negative and unsafe experiences in association with land and wild spaces. These experiences have manipulated the way people of color and LGBTQ+ communities engage with nature, and has pushed them heavily into urban and industrialized spaces. This lifestyle away from a relationship to the natural world has contributed to the physical, mental, and social pathologies commonly seen within these communities. I focus on nature connection as a means of self-discovery, healing, and resistance to oppression.
Environmental Education as Resistance
Throughout history racism and oppression has been used as a tool to alienate people of color and LGBTQ+ communities from nature, and has shaped the way they engage with the land. These negative experiences have contributed to the lack of diversity seen within the environmental field, and the perpetual lack of consideration for people of color and LGBTQ+ folks in environmental policy.
I believe that in the world we live in today reconnecting to the land is not just for our physical, mental, and emotional health, or to escape urban lifestyles. Reconnecting to nature is also a tool to resist the oppressive forces that seek to push us into urban and industrialized spaces, and shape the way we access the healing powers of the natural world.
Removing Access Barriers to the Outdoors
Throughout history people of color and LGBTQ+ communities have faced many barriers to the outdoors. Some of these barriers being a lack of representation and diversity, financial access, transportation, and a misunderstood fear of the natural world due to ancestral trauma.
By opening an outdoor education center stewarded by people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals we hope to provide a haven for folks within these communities seeking to cultivate a new relationship to the land that is accessible, safe, and empowering, and highlight their historical contributions to the environmental field.
Cultural Transformation and Healing Ancestral Traumas Through Nature Connection
Our relationship to nature remains the last key to healing our whole selves and fully being able to show up and cultivate change in this world. To heal these deep wounds we must reconnect to nature and move through them in partnership. Once all peoples have equal access to positive experiences in the outdoors we can truly bring forth cultural transformation, and our desire to perpetuate industrialization will dissipate.
We will begin to raise environmental stewards and engage in intimate connection with the land rather than engage in an extractive relationship that causes detriment to both ourselves and our more-than-human siblings. We can begin re-member our place within ourselves and the natural world and make change in confidence and solidarity.
Sustainable Cooperative Community
I strongly believe in modelling the change that we want to see in the world. That being said I believe all peoples deserve a relationship with the land that brings forth enrichment and community, as well as an intimate connection to our more-than-human siblings. I believe that change is about finding commonality on the land. In a time of racial division, the land is the one place to find common ground.
A land-based lifestyle focused on reconnecting to the land is truly one of our greatest tools out of our current paradigm.
By opening a cooperative outdoor education center in Berkshire County that models communtiy, an appreciation for the natural world and environmental eductation we can begin to show others that it is truly possible to live the lives we seek, and be the change we want to see in this world.
With your support, we can provide a cooperative outdoor education center in Berkshire County focused on uplifting people of color and LGBTQ+ communities within the environmental field and provide affordable wilderness trips and workshops, access to food and farm education, and low-income land-based housing.
Become a monthly donor on Patreon, support us with a one time donation through Venmo, or attend one of our workshops and trips to get the full Rusty Anvil Experience.