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Queer Forestry Camp


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Groundswell Community & Retreat Center invites you to join us for our first gathering of the New Year!

Queer Forestry Camp | A Call to the Queers who are Called to the Trees

With all the recent wild fires in our area, the forest needs our care and support to be ready for the inevitable burn. We can no longer ignore that fire is an essential part of our ecology. This is an invitation to Queers who are called to heal the forests around us while healing ourselves and one another, to join in community spirit, and to grow and share our skills. The concept of wilderness may elicit uncomfortable feelings for us, including risk, lack of safety, loneliness, unfamiliarity, and not belonging; join us as we explore how queer ecology places us very much in belonging with nature.

This event is structured so that people can attend either or both of the two weekends (February 22-24 & March 1-3), and/or the weekdays (February 25-28) in between.  Weekends will include a mix of hands-on work, presentations, and skill-sharing, for which we will rise earlier to take advantage of limited late-winter daylight hours. Nighttimes will facilitate a nurturing energy and may include storytelling, nature crafting, gathering around the fire, soaking in the hot tub, getting to know other queer cuties, and our ever infamous Mz Tree pageant/competition--think drag meets the forest. During the week we will do mostly hands-on work, with a few field trips. During the weekends food will be provided, while during the week participants will make meals together in our community kitchen.

As we work together, discussions and activities will focus on holistic forest management, erosion control, water protection, species diversity, and fire ecology awareness, as well as strategies to return our land to fire resilience. We will be doing manual labor and spending time outside in all kinds of weather and sometimes on steep and uneven terrain, so waterproof and sturdy footwear will be necessary. We will be using forestry tools including saws, loppers and pruners--safety will be a primary goal.

Weekend 1 (February 22-24) will cover: the Groundswell vision for the land, fire resilience, an exploration of the various habitat types and natural resources, a contemplative walk and ecological discussions, a narrative cartography experience curated by the Art of Shmee (www.narrativecartography.com), tools for developing or deepening a relationship with land, and learning and implementing generative forest management practices.

Weeklong Work Party (February 25-28) will include: hands-on forestry work to improve the resilience of the Groundswell land as well as field trips to old-growth redwood groves and local basketry museum. Depending on weather and air quality limits, we will use small burn piles to produce bio-char. Also we will discuss and explore the land’s water features focusing on the hydrology of springs and the drainage basin of Anderson Valley.

Weekend 2 (March 1-3) will include: hands-on activities focused on permaculture and sustainable use of the abundant natural resources found at Groundswell. There will be more hiking and thoughtful discussions on the forest ecosystem and our place in it. We will also continue hands-on forestry projects such as restoring oak woodland health and reducing stream erosion, and discuss how we can foster the spirit of forest stewardship within the hearts of those who visit Groundswell.


Registration Fees: We have tiered ticketing available to meet people where they’re at financially. Our Standard Gathering Rate is $200 per weekend. Reduced Rate is $125 per weekend. Weekdays, we ask for a contribution of $20-40 per day.

Scholarship Fund: We understand that hardships arise and we work really hard to make it so that economics are not a barrier to joining us. If you are in need of scholarship funding, email scholarships@groundswellretreat.com and someone will get back to you shortly with a questionnaire. If you are able to contribute to our scholarship fund and help others get to the land, you can contribute below.

Carpool: We have a carpool ride share board available to coordinate rides with other gathering participants. You can sign up here: https://www.groupcarpool.com/t/mqpift.


Groundswell offers cabins with single and double occupancy beds with capacity for up to 50 people + ample camping spots for those who prefer sleeping outdoors.

Participants will have full access to campgrounds, a retreat & wellness center, a commercial size hot tub, as well as delicious and well balanced meals all included as part of their registration fees.

Any additional questions, you can reach out via email at events@groundswellretreat.com, post to the Facebook event page, or send us a Facebook message.

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Join us in connection and co-creation.

Groundswell is a queer, trans, poc, body and sex positive space. ALL are welcome. Consent is not only sexy but necessary. 🌿


Registration

To register for this gathering, click ‘register now’ to fill out a registration form, then pay for registration below.

Queer Forestry Camp Weekends

Please select the rate you are able to pay. If you are joining us for both weekends, make sure to chose 2 under Quantity. To register now and pay when you arrive, chose “Pay at Check In.”

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Queer Forestry Camp Weekdays

Please choose a sliding scale option and how many weekdays you’ll be attending (Quantity). There are four weekdays for this gathering, February 25-28.

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