Regenerate Lancaster is a collective of co-working individuals launching a Drawdown plan for Lancaster County, PA. Grounded in sustainability as a regenerative project for communities, economies, and ecologies (cf. Lovins, Wallis, Wijkman & Fullerton 2018; Raworth 2018; Rodale Institute; UN SDGs), we are identifying the twenty-five most relevant solutions for our place, connecting organizations to act on these solutions, and nurturing the initiatives we seed within our community. With a global reputation for agriculture, a national reputation as a hub of innovation, and embodying the demographic challenges of both rural and urban distribution and of political divide of both Pennsylvania and the U.S., Lancaster offers one ideal site for the cultural, entrepreneurial, and environmental work of Drawdown.
Focusing on Food Waste and on Energy, we highlight two models our emerging methods for localizing and mobilizing Drawdown solutions. Among these are partnering and coordinating among local higher education, local business, as well as civic and municipal agencies, while also engaging the community at large. The public conversation we’re starting builds upon a renewed culture of civic engagement and grassroots community organizing around issues of environmental impacts and democratic non-partisan political participation, among other recent local campaigns (for which the county has also received national attention).
Aware of the necessity to evolve as we grow, and with dialogic approaches at the center of our initiative, we’re eager to share this first flush of our work launching a ten-year, place-based, community-led campaign for carbon neutrality.