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Photo by Dante Fontana
Individuals who operate as a collective in the service of their community have the power to shape its future.
“Impact” is the impetus behind PlacerSustain, Inc., a nonprofit based in Loomis that serves as a virtual and interpersonal communication hub, facilitating the exchange of information between people and organizations throughout Placer County to build a more sustainable, and ultimately, thriving community.
Founded and launched in 2010 by Executive Director Jeffrey Bordelon and a board of directors, PlacerSustain is an upstart nonprofit with an ambitious mission: “To support an ecology of community – communication, collaboration, and learning – actively connecting people and organizations for a sustainable future.”
But what does “sustainability” encompass, exactly? “The sustainability movement is about taking leadership and responsibility at a grassroots level to create our own future in stewardship for future generations,” Bordelon says. “It is a necessary antidote to the problems arising from globalization and overdependence on big markets and institutions, including government.”
The issues are myriad, but by acting in partnership with others, PlacerSustain empowers county residents to self-organize on behalf of their own interests and those of their families, neighborhoods, and cities. The result is thoughtfully considered problem-solving: Citizens derive the strength in numbers they need to not only draw up a new blueprint for their respective communities, but also to identify change and spark collaborative debate among groups and individuals to respectfully implement changes for short-term solutions and long-term gains.
This crucial conversation is part of a wider global-dialogue that PlacerSustain is facilitating locally in response to the notion that it takes a sustainable village to raise a healthy community. Fostering discussion and generating interest for cultural, economic, social, and environmental issues at all levels allows the organization to leverage unity and kinship into grassroots collaboration that represents public interest for common good.
The Town of Loomis, Sinclair Family Farm, Pathways to Health, Sheperd of the Sierra Presbyterian Church, PlacerGrown, Roseville Arts, PlacerArts, Stephen Chandler Photography, the Placer County Economic Development Board, and the Sacramento News & Review are among the partnerships that PlacerSustain has formed since its inception. From these affiliations, and in relatively no time at all, the nonprofit has promoted and helped shape economic policy, developed and endorsed county-wide food, lifestyle, human, health, and energy related initiatives, while also supporting the sustainability interests of its partners. In addition, PlacerSustain is working with the Green Ribbon Task Force in Loomis to develop local sustainability programs.
Nobody, Bordelon explains, is coming to rescue us from the future that we are creating. This is work that must be done locally among citizens. “While help is possible,” he says, “it is increasingly apparent that we cannot rely too heavily upon state, national, and global institutions and economies to meet our needs. The first step in strengthening our community’s capacity to care for our future is to simply step forward, identify ourselves, our interests and values, and find people of like mind to work together and communicate.”
For more information, to get involved, or to register at no cost, visit the organization online at placersustain.org.