A little more than two years ago, the Center for Humans and Nature began a journey. Our organization had just moved from downtown Chicago to Libertyville, Illinois—a new beginning rooted in the landscape that was the childhood home of the Center’s founder Strachan Donnelley as well as the ancestral homelands of many Native Peoples. We knew we wanted to learn from this new home and listen deeply to the land to which we now belonged. We also knew we needed to re-envision who we are and why we exist in a way that reflects the history of the Center, our deepening roots in the land, and our values of interconnectedness, reciprocity, responsibility, as well as multidisciplinary and multicultural approaches to being in relationship with the world.
After a thorough search, we met a local, Chicago-based design agency whose values and mission aligned perfectly with ours. They are called LimeRed Studio. And we bonded immediately over wild-crafting, wonderment, getting lost in the woods, and a commitment to a more compassionate, equitable, and flourishing world. We are so fortunate to have found each other.
Soon after, our shared visions of connecting people with powerful ideas and new possibilities came into sharp focus as a global pandemic spread around the world. Like all of us, we paused, we grieved, we questioned, we cried, and we reimagined our lives, our work, and our ways of knowing and being. As we experienced our deep interconnections laid bare, the Center turned to care—how we could best care for each other and the whole community of life. How we could weave a practice of care into our work. How we could grow systems of care for a more just and resilient future. The racial and political upheavals of the past two years only reinforced this question of care as well as our relationships and responsibilities to each other.
Our work with LimeRed during this pivotal time was an important opportunity to imagine and work toward visions of what ideas, values, aspirations, and practices we should nurture as we live forward. What we know is that these visions are already all around us. They are stories written in the land, knowledge passed down from our ancestors, wisdom whispered from nature, and voices that ring through systems of oppression. So we must listen and (re)learn—from the wise teachers in our midst who have always thought about our relationships and responsibilities to each other and the whole community of life.
Two years later, the Center for Humans and Nature continues this journey of listening and learning. The work never ends. Our hearts are full of immense gratitude for all of our partners and friends who have helped us along the way. And we are excited and proud to share with you a new online space to uplift these stories and ideas, along with a new home in Libertyville, Illinois, to seed these ideas into the land. We invite you to explore, discover, deepen, and join us in our work of connection and care.
Your kin from the Center for Humans and Nature
A Big Announcement and a New Way to Connect