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Photographer Helen Gunderson and her urban farm

What an oasis an urban lot can be when we give up our attachment to turf grass and uniformity. Photographer, videographer, author and farmland owner Helen Gunderson shows us what is possible. Through the years, she has documented the plants and animals with whom she shares her home in Ames, Iowa. For more on Helen,…

Welcome Board members!

What happens when a Lutheran, a lawyer, a lobbyist, a public radio producer and a hog breeder walk into a meeting? They join the Climate Land Leaders Board of Directors. Welcome to our inaugural Board Members Jackie Armstrong, Kate Moos, Meg Nielsen, Julie Ristau and Jane Shey! A woman of faith, Meg Nielsen is owner…

Climate Land Leaders are artists: Ruth Rabinowitz

With this post, we start a series on the talented Climate Land Leaders who are artists. Climate Land Leader Ruth Rabinowitz brings her awe for nature and an eye for detail to her photography work. But first…more about Ruth. She stewards farms in Iowa and South Dakota and has just built a new home on…

Growing soil, food and young environmentalists at Osprey Wilds’ Trapp Farm

Climate Land Leaders are looking forward to gathering in East Central Minnesota this weekend for the second of our fall retreats (read about our first fall retreat in Northeast Iowa here). Over the course of the weekend the cohort will spend time on forested land and three farms, one of which is in year 3…

Our leaders are readers: A Climate Land Leaders book list

At Climate Land Leaders, we try to make sense of our lives, agriculture, our land and our time through films, poems, podcasts, photos — and especially books. Here’s a Climate Land Leaders book list, with contributions from Mary Damm, Teresa Opheim, Jane Shey, Sylvia Spalding, Lee Tesdell and Paula Westmoreland. Several of these titles have…

The Bouskas’ journey to a regenerative farm: 2022 progress

On August 5th, Carol and Peg Bouska and their sisters Ann Novak and Sally McCoy (in spirit) treated Climate Land Leaders to a tour of their amazing conservation projects. Here are their remarks from the day. Our ancestors bought the first plots of this farm in 1903. They continued to add onto this land, purchasing other…

“Crazy ass, hopeful things”? Sharing resources, ensuring land access

When it comes to responding to the climate crisis, Bonnie Blodgett doesn’t believe in incremental change. Within the last several years, she has purchased two parcels of land – a serendipitous deal to preserve an organic farm in western New York and a defensive move to slow the expansion of factory farming in western Wisconsin…

We are NOT “absentee landowners”

Some Climate Land Leaders live on their land and farm it themselves. Others live on the land and don’t farm, and still others live across the country from the land they own. And the cohort includes every combination in between. But all of them agree: They are NOT “absentee landowners.” In their words, they are: “Land leaders.”…

Looking forward: Helen Gunderson’s land legacy

Helen DeElda Gunderson is a fourth-generation farmland owner who began managing over 500 acres of inherited land in 1997, embarking on a deep and intentional learning process enriched by the breadth of her work and life experiences. It’s impossible to weave here all the strands that together tell the story of Helen’s land stewardship journey.…

From Hawai’i to Iowa: Climate Land Leader Sylvia Spalding

Sylvia Spalding brings a unique background to Climate Land Leaders. A long-time resident of Honolulu, she spent a career in fisheries management in the Pacific Islands and today is bringing insights from that career to her stewardship of family land in Mahaska County, Iowa. Sylvia’s family’s history on the land dates back to 1843, when…