11 episodes

Are you tired of the doomsday climate scenarios, overwhelming forecasts, or general bad news? Join us for refreshing, authentic, and hopeful stories from people in different communities working to protect the environment, educate those around them, and improve the health of folks near and far.

Community Blooms is a podcast by the Community Ecology Institute (CEI), a non-profit organization with a mission to "cultivate communities where people and nature thrive together."

Community Blooms Community Ecology Institute

    • Education

Are you tired of the doomsday climate scenarios, overwhelming forecasts, or general bad news? Join us for refreshing, authentic, and hopeful stories from people in different communities working to protect the environment, educate those around them, and improve the health of folks near and far.

Community Blooms is a podcast by the Community Ecology Institute (CEI), a non-profit organization with a mission to "cultivate communities where people and nature thrive together."

    Fall Equinox 2022: Seasonal Reflections and Appreciation🍁

    Fall Equinox 2022: Seasonal Reflections and Appreciation🍁

    Hey beautiful people, Akil here! :))
    On today's episode, I commemorate the Fall Equinox (September 22, 2022 in the Northern Hemisphere). This marks the half-way point between the Summer Solstice (the longest day of the year and beginning of Summer) and the Winter Solstice (the shortest day of the year and beginning of Winter).
    With just three months left in 2022, I am this moment to reflect on our society's seemingly counter-intuitive response to Nature's seasonal changes. I'm also pausing to express my gratitude for making it this far into the year and to stand in solidarity with the millions of people facing climate change fueled devastation in Pakistan, Puerto Rico, and elsewhere.
    Sending my love and best wishes for this new season!
    How to Support People in Pakistan and Puerto Rico:
    "https://www.pbs.org/newshour/world/how-to-help-pakistans-flood-victims (How to Help Pakistan Flood Victims)" from PBS News Hour
    "https://www.npr.org/2022/09/20/1123971208/puerto-rico-hurricane-fiona-how-to-help (Here's how to help people in Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Fiona)" from NPR

    Help me raise funds for our Community Engagement Center 💚 https://www.flipcause.com/secure/fundraiser/MTMzNDUx/73852 (https://www.flipcause.com/secure/fundraiser/MTMzNDUx/73852)

    • 8 min
    Willow Volkert: Cultural Norms, Adventures in Nature, and Sustainability on Campus

    Willow Volkert: Cultural Norms, Adventures in Nature, and Sustainability on Campus

    *Editor's note* Akil here! I re-uploaded this episode a few days after posting once I realized I uploaded the wrong file! Hope you enjoy the correct episode :)
    Happy start of September and back to school season! On today’s episode, Akil sits down with Willow Volkert. Willow is currently a sophomore at Georgetown University studying Humanistic Ecology through Georgetown’s Interdisciplinary Degree program. As Willow describes, Humanistic Ecology “focus[es] on the sustainable alternatives necessary to fight climate change… and create a more sustainable and just world” as well as “the values that are necessary to create such a world.” She is also the current Co-President of GREEN (Georgetown Renewable Energy and Environmental Network)
    Topics in this conversation range from Willow’s pandemic-era personal growth to cultural conditioning regarding environmentalism. We also discuss gap years, sustainability on campus (challenges and progress) , how to use privilege constructively in sustainability, and the importance of “doing the little things where you can”.
    Key Terms
    https://www.wgu.edu/blog/what-is-a-gap-year2005.html#close (Gap year: ) "term for when students take time off between high school andhttp://wgu.edu/ ( college). Though it’s typically called a gap year, some students take more or less time off in between high school and college" (Western Governors University)
    https://talesofabackpacker.com/work-trade-travel-for-free/#What_is_Work_Trade (Work trade:) "where volunteers offer their time and skills to work in exchange for free accommodation" (Tales of a Backpacker)
    https://sustainableamerica.org/blog/what-is-regenerative-agriculture/ (Regenerative agriculture:) "agricultural practices that focus on the health of the ecological system as a whole, not solely on high production yields of crops" (Sustainable America)
    https://www.permaculturenews.org/what-is-permaculture/ (Permaculture): "Permaculture integrates land, resources, people and the environment through mutually beneficial synergies – imitating the no waste, closed loop systems seen in diverse natural systems." (Permaculture News)
    ‘https://www.oha.org/aina/ (Āina): the land; that which provides (this Hawaiian term has various nuanced definitions—this definition is just one of them)
    https://www.alohaainaohawaiiinc.org/ (Aloha ‘Āina): "love for the land of Hawai'i" (Aloha https://www.alohaainaohawaiiinc.org/ (Āina) O Hawai'i)
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/municipal-solid-waste (Municipal solid waste (MSW)): "waste collected by the municipality or disposed of at the municipal waste disposal site and includes residential, industrial, institutional, commercial, municipal, and construction and demolition waste" (Hoornweg et al., 2015).

    Guest Info (Instagram)
    https://www.instagram.com/willowvolkert/ (@willowvolkert): main account
    https://www.instagram.com/willowexistingonearth/ (@willowexistingonearth): "page for musings and thoughts"
    https://www.instagram.com/willows_adventuresyay/ (@willows_adventuresyay): "adventure account!"
    https://www.instagram.com/georgetown.green/ (@georgetown.green:) club where Willow is Co-President
    https://www.instagram.com/sustainablegu/ (@sustainablegu:) Georgetown Office of Sustainability

    Resources
    “Ishmael” a novel by Daniel Quinn:
    https://www.workaway.info/ (Workaway): "Workaway is here to promote fair exchange between budget travellers, language learners or culture seekers who can stay with 1000s of families, individuals or organizations that are looking for help in over 165 countries"
    https://www.gu272.net/ (GU272): the 272+ enslaved people who were owned and sold by Maryland Jesuits in 1838 to keep Georgetown University open
    https://www.americamagazine.org/politics-society/2022/08/18/jesuits-descendents-enslaved-georgetown-243588 (Recent GU 272 News) (8/18/22): "Jesuits pledged $100 million in reparations for sale of enslaved persons. Descendants say progress has been too...

    • 45 min
    Akil Cole: Mindset Shifts, Environmental Education, and Unlikely Opportunities

    Akil Cole: Mindset Shifts, Environmental Education, and Unlikely Opportunities

    Show Notes,
    On today’s episode, Akil sits down to interview…himself?? Topics in this conversation range from educational exposure and the not-so-early influence of Akil’s favorite book on his desire to protect nature to unlikely opportunities and Akil’s work with CEI. Come for the (new!) intro music, stay for the inspiration!
    Akil's CEI Barn Fundraiser Page! 💸https://www.flipcause.com/secure/fundraiser/MTMzNDUx/73852 (https://www.flipcause.com/secure/fundraiser/MTMzNDUx/73852)
    Connect with Akil! 🤝
    Personal Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/akil.cole/ (https://www.instagram.com/akil.cole/)
    Your Better Four Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yourbetterfour/ (https://www.instagram.com/yourbetterfour/)
    Your Better Four Website: https://www.yourbetterfour.com (https://www.yourbetterfour.com)
    Project Perspective (YouTube Channel): https://youtu.be/PPw-_vBckSU (https://youtu.be/PPw-_vBckSU)
    Email: akilcole@cei.earth

    • 23 min
    Earth Day 2022 🌍

    Earth Day 2022 🌍

    Happy Earth Day and welcome back to Community Blooms! In today's episode, Akil commemorates Earth Day by encouraging reflection upon and connection with the environment, sharing positive happenings from CEI, and announcing the beginning of Season 2 for Community Blooms. A summary of CEI's incredible work can be found in our 2021 Annual Report, which is linked here: https://www.communityecologyinstitute.org/uploads/1/2/3/0/123096770/cei_2021_annual_report_final.pdf
    Season 1, which began last year (2021) on Earth Day highlighted environmental, educational, equity, and health leaders from the Howard County, Maryland community. Season 2 will focus on a new community: students! Stay tuned for new episodes in the coming weeks and months that include the incredible work and perspectives of young people.
    Finally, this episode invites you to contribute to CEI's Barnraiser, our ongoing capital campaign to renovate, beautify, and make more accessible the incomplete barn at Freetown Farm. Check out the donation page to contribute! https://www.communityecologyinstitute.org/barnraiser.html

    • 6 min
    Lori Lilly and Peter Iwuh: Environmentalism, Workforce Development, and Adaptation

    Lori Lilly and Peter Iwuh: Environmentalism, Workforce Development, and Adaptation

    On today's episode, Community Blooms host Akil Cole sits down with Lori Lilly and Peter Iwuh from Howard Ecoworks. Lori is the Founder and Executive Director of Howard Ecoworks, while Peter is a marketing intern at Ecoworks and a student at Morgan State University. Topics in this conversation range from environmental justice and the organizational model of Howard Ecoworks to pandemic-time adjustments and personal connections to nature.
    Based in Columbia, Maryland, Howard Ecoworks "is a non profit organization specializing in stormwater management and workforce development" that "strives to develop environmental stewardship through education and action performing best management practices throughout Howard County." You learn more about Howard Ecoworks here: https://www.howardecoworks.org/
    You can also connect with with Ecoworks with the following links:
    Volunteer link: https://www.howardecoworks.org/volunteer (https://www.howardecoworks.org/volunteer)
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hcecoworks/ (https://www.instagram.com/hcecoworks/)
    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKLxaA0gJxn1UXfdnNe2R5Q (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKLxaA0gJxn1UXfdnNe2R5Q)
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HowardEcoWorks/ (https://www.facebook.com/HowardEcoWorks/)
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/hecoworks (https://twitter.com/hecoworks)
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/11357921/admin/ (https://www.linkedin.com/company/11357921/admin/)

    Additional Notes
    Inner Arbor Trust: innerarbortrust.org
    (Unsponsored app suggestion) iNaturalist: https://www.inaturalist.org/ (https://www.inaturalist.org/)
    “A social network for naturalists”
    Includes plant and animal species identification, messaging with fellow naturalists, and more

    • 28 min
    Stacie Hunt: Leadership, Collaboration, and Service

    Stacie Hunt: Leadership, Collaboration, and Service

    Welcome back! On this episode, Community Blooms returns with a conversation between Akil and Stacie Hunt. Stacie is the President and CEO of Leadership Howard County. With topics ranging from cross-sectional networking and collaboration to community service and investing time in your passions, this conversation delivers plenty of wisdom, passion, and inspiration.
    Based in Columbia, Maryland, Leadership Howard County is a non-profit organization asserting its role as "the critical force in preparing, inspiring, connecting and sustaining community leaders to make Howard County the best place to live, work and play."
    You can learn more about Leadership Howard County here: https://www.leadershiphc.org/
    You can also check LHC on social media!
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leadershiphc
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/LHCLeads
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lhcleads/

    • 43 min

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