Rootball keeps you up to date on all things Pando Populus. Here’s the latest.
Community may be the first casualty of the pandemic, but it's also true that we are a part of communities of communities of communities whether we are consciously aware of them or not. We rely on this deeper system of connectivity for the regenerative power of spring after a dark winter, to animate our stories of beginning again at this time of year, and to allow us to say, with hope, 

Best wishes for 2021!
Pando at Maryknoll 2021 launch
Mid-day sun as seen from the Pando at Maryknoll campus, as September’s Bobcat Fire raged in nearby mountains.
Pando at Maryknoll will officially launch in 2021 at the Maryknoll Sisters’ campus in Monrovia, CA as a hub of demonstration, education, and project acceleration for community resilience. 

Challenges to opening have been great. In the midst of the COVID pandemic, wildfire in the mountains immediately above the campus in September kept Pando residents and Sisters alike under a blanket of heavy smoke and the threat of possible evacuation for two weeks. 

But we remain dedicated to the vision of Pando at Maryknoll as a hub of service for times such as these -- and, in fact, for times more desperate than those we face now. It is to be a place of radical commitment for the Earth and its people, building on the legacy of the Sisters who first came to the area 100 years ago to meet a pressing southern California need. 

We aim to create a site for what Pope Francis calls “integral ecology,” the Maryknoll Sisters describe as “wholemaking,” Pando chair John Cobb names as “ecological civilization,” and the Los Angeles County sustainability plan envisions as the integration of justice and sustainability. 

Our next steps ahead follow a two-year prototype period in collaboration with the Sisters. After a period of campus lockdown in the early spring due to COVID, we cautiously reopened with a “soft launch” in September. We will continue that approach into 2021 as we prioritize strategizing and planning, with only as much on-campus work as health conditions allow. We anticipate scaling up to a full kick-off later in the year.  

The negotiations we are finalizing with the Maryknoll Sisters will assign roughly half of their buildings and property to this purpose. This includes a 40-room residential building; a separate 4,000 square foot building with meeting rooms and makerspace; and grounds for cultivation. 

Our hope is to make the ideas of integral ecology incarnate -- through demonstration of best practices; public education and research opportunities; and a place of project acceleration for Los Angeles County sustainability and beyond. 

For instance, we’ll be supporting Southland college and university Pando Days initiatives that help implement the County’s sustainability plan. Additionally: 
  • on-campus residents, volunteers, and staff are establishing a working residential model, including fellowship programs;
  • collaborating institutions are developing on-campus opportunities and assuming space, and 
  • the LA Cleantech Incubator is collaborating to foster on-site project development – from urban gardening to clean technologies. 
Pando at Maryknoll offers an extraordinary opportunity to model and accelerate community resilience, taking into account communities of communities of communities, human and non-human alike, of which we’re all a part. 

We’re doing something that hasn’t been done before. So, volunteer if you can. Give

We’re looking for people who want to throw themselves into this. Become radically committed.
Katherine Miller heads Pando at Maryknoll facilities, campus development, and sustainability 
Katherine Miller leads a tour for members of the CSO Strategic Taskforce of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation’s Agoura Hills campus. 
We are delighted to announce that Katherine Miller has joined the Pando team as head of facilities, campus development, and sustainability for Pando at Maryknoll. 

Formerly, Katherine was the Director of Campus Development, Facilities and Workplace services for the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, where she served for 10 years managing their two Campuses. 

Her work encompassed all aspects of operations and administration including design and development through construction of the foundation’s former headquarters in Agoura Hills, a 22K square foot LEED Platinum, net zero energy office building which is one of the most forward-looking buildings in the country. 

“I am passionate about tending to our planet and people,” Katherine says, which is evidenced both in her work and her interest in educational outreach opportunities that can share positive impact broadly.

Welcome Katherine! 
Pando at Maryknoll museum space and pilgrimage trail to be developed by UCLA’s Counterforce Lab
Conceptual rendering of a biophilia treehouse, part of UCLA’s submission for Pando Days 2019/20. 
Pando has brought together the Mellon Foundation, Bringing Theory to Practice (Elon University), and Counterforce Lab at UCLA to create a new installation on the Pando at Maryknoll campus in Monrovia that will honor the extraordinary history of the site and provide a reflective experience. 

Designed by Rebeca Mendez and her Counterforce team, the installation will include an interior museum space documenting the work of the Maryknoll Sisters on the site, beginning with service in 1930 to Japanese-American victims of tuberculosis (at a time when they could not receive treatment elsewhere in LA County). The space will also honor the site’s indigenous inhabitants. Outside, the design will include a pilgrimage trail with stations for reflection about the nature and shape of radical commitment.  

The work is inspired in part by the Counterforce/UCLA submission for Pando Days, “Biophilia Treehouse.” Rebeca’s most recent public design is for the Tucson, Arizona memorial honoring the victims and survivors of the Jan. 8, 2011 shooting at the “Congress on Your Corner” event with Congressperson Gabby Giffords, to be inaugurated next month.  

Mendez’s Pando at Maryknoll initiative will unfold over an 18-month timeline.  

Full- and part-time positions available
We’re growing like mad and need help to manage the opportunities. 
Positions are open in these areas: 
  • Operations
  • Communications
  • Network management -- CSO Strategic Taskforce and Pandotopia network 
Submit inquiries here
Pando Blog Highlights
A favorite tree, Tokyo, Japan. 
Sr. Teruko Ito, MM sends a Christmas greeting from Tokyo. She writes, "Stay put where you are planted, remind me the trees.”
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Storm clouds brew above small plots of perennial cereal grains under development at The Land Institute in Salina, Kansas. Scott Seirer / The Land Institute.
Bill Vitek updates us on themes of perennial agriculture from Middlebury College. “...The seed is slowly transmuted into summer. The earth bestows,” he reminds us. 

Bill recently edited a book of essays, The Perennial Turn: Contemporary Essays from the Field, available for free download at New Perennials Publishing
Read Post
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