To Heal the World,
Look to the Ground.
We are an expanding group of conservationists, activists, clergy, educators, writers, artists, healers and many others being brought together through a deep love of nature and a desire to connect with others who experience the natural world as beloved kin.
Meet the Sacred Ground Council
The Sacred Ground Council is the formative directing body of the initiative, composed of people committed to restoring sacred, personal relationships to the Land.
Planted throughout North America, we are calling on each other for diverse wisdom, experience, spiritual practices and traditions, fields of study, and cultural backgrounds in order to shape and guide this project at this critical stage.
Fred Bahnson is a writer and teacher whose work focuses on the intersection of ecology, sustainable agriculture and contemplative spirituality. He is the author of Soil & Sacrament and co-author with Norman Wirzba of Making Peace with the Land. His essays have appeared in Harpers, Oxford American, Image, Orion, The Sun, Christian Century, and Best American Spiritual Writing. He is an assistant professor at Wake Forest University School of Divinity, where he directs the Food, Health, and Ecological Well-Being Program. He lives in North Carolina.
Nikki Cooley serves as the co-manager for the Tribal Climate Change Program at the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals, where she helps tribes across the nation learn about and plan for adaptation to climate change. Nikki is of the Diné (Navajo) Nation by way of Shonto and Blue Gap, Arizona. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s of Forestry, with an emphasis in ecological restoration and traditional ecological knowledge, from Northern Arizona University. She also works as a river guide and cultural interpreter on the Colorado River-Grand Canyon and San Juan River.
Michael Martinez is a certified master gardener, a former elementary school teacher and the founder and executive director of L.A. Compost. The organization began in 2013 as a collection of volunteers collecting organics on bikes from restaurants, homes and schools. It now creates community compost hubs throughout Los Angeles county, in places such as churches, schools, gardens and workplaces. The hubs compost organics locally while creating shared spaces for people to connect with each other and the natural world.
Geneen Marie Haugen
Geneen Marie Haugen is a writer, wilderness wanderer, scholar and guide to the intertwined mysteries of nature and psyche with the Animas Valley Institute. She serves on the faculty of the Esalen Institute, Schumacher College and the Fox Institute for Creation Spirituality. Her writing has appeared many journals and books, including Spiritual Ecology: The Cry of the Earth; Thomas Berry: Dreamer of the Earth; Parabola Journal; Ecopsychology Journal; DailyGood.org; Kosmos Journal; High Country News; and others. She now lives amid the creatures and features of southern Utah’s sandstone labyrinth.
Shamu Fenyvesa Sadeh is the co-founder and director of Adamah, a 10-acre educational farm in Falls Village, Connecticut, dedicated to sustainable practices. There he teaches Judaism and ecology, turns the compost piles, maintains the orchards, and supervises and mentors staff and Adamah Fellows. He has been a farmer, professor of environmental studies, writer and wilderness guide. Drawn to the integration of soul and soil, he works for the creation of a fruitful ecological landscape that builds confidence, mindfulness and community among participants.
Veronica Kyle directs all of Faith in Place’s Chicago outreach programs, seeking to engage people who are often not involved in conversations around Earth care, including African-American, Latino and affluent suburban communities. She has done this by creating programs that bring about diversity and cross-cultural community engagement. Previously, she lived and worked for 12 years in the Caribbean and Southern Africa for a faith-based organization in the areas of social justice and development.
Victoria Loorz, a pastor and certified Spiritual Director, has been inviting people deeper into their true identities and a more intimate experience of God for more than 25 years. She is the co-founder, with her son Alec, of the non-profit Kids Vs. Global Warming and the iMatter Campaign. She founded the Ojai Church of the Wild in California and convened the first gathering of the Wild Church Network, a movement of spiritual leaders who bring worship outside church walls. She leads the development of the Sacred Ground Initiative for Kairos Earth.
Kailea Frederick is a mother and First Nations woman who grew up off the grid in Maui, Hawai`i, an experience that imprinted the importance of reciprocity through indigenous world-view. She is a graduate of the International Youth Initiative Program, a Spiritual Ecology Fellow, and a two-time youth delegate to the United Nations Climate Change conferences. Kailea is founder of Earth Is `Ohana, an immersive and adaptable environmental educational framework that explores the question, “How do we practice returning home to our landscapes in order to regenerate our relationship with the earth?”
Sacred Ground Initiative is establishing a web-based directory and curating resources centered on the people and ideas of spiritual ecology. By participating at this stage, you are helping to map the field of a emerging movement toward renewed relationships with the natural world.
With the support of the Kalliopeia Foundation, the first steps in this project have been taken by Kairos Earth — a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting a growing community of people who view Nature as an expression of the sacred reality.
At this stage this initiative is seeking partnerships, alliances, and collaborations with the greatest diversity of voices and ways of spiritual ecology. This movement will take root through us — gaining strength as we connect, tell the stories, gather together, and build relationships with each other and to our common home.