Some of the team members at EcoCentro. Photo courtesy of EcoCentro.
Some of the team members at EcoCentro. Photo courtesy of EcoCentro.

Environmental organizations will connect with the public and each other from 3-8 p.m. this Sunday at San Antonio College’s new EcoCentro. The inaugural Common Ground event may help coordinate the often disparate sustainability groups around the city.

“We are seeing more and more that San Antonio is starting to feel the need to learn environmental issues such as recycling and up-cycling, and why these techniques are important,” said Patti Taylor, organizer of the San Antonio Aquaponics and Transfarming Group who helped organize this event. “They see their water bill go up because they are watering their plants, and are looking for ways to save with water-conserving gardening techniques. They are hungry for these ideas and we will be here when they ask for them.”

This is one of the first public events at EcoCentro, which hosted Solar Fest earlier this month. The center was named after Solar San Antonio founder William R. Sinkin, who passed away in February at the age of 100. Sinkin’s son, Lanny, will be on hand, along with dozens of other informational booths and speakers to promote sustainability – not just with words, but in action.

“We’d like to highlight some of these growing efforts and partnerships and think about more ways we can come together,” said Nadia Gaona of San Antonio Edible Landscapes. The event should “create a space to network with other groups, talk about current initiatives, see where collaboration is possible, and increase public awareness and membership of existing organizations.”

Here are the organizations that are expected to attend:

inaugural Common Ground event may help coordinate the often disparate sustainability groups around the city.
The inaugural Common Ground event may help coordinate the often disparate sustainability groups around the city.

-San Antonio Food Policy Council
-Green Spaces Alliance
-Alamo Area Master Naturalists
-Sierra Club
-Solar San Antonio
-Renewable Republic
-LocalSprout
-Real Food SA
-The Human Path School and EcoVillage
-San Antonio Housing Authority Sustainability Initiatives
-SATX Permaculture
-San Antonio Transfarming and Aquaponics
-Habitable Spaces Sustainable Farm and Artist Residency Program
-Yanaguana Mamas
-San Antonio March Against Monsanto
-Southwest Workers Union
San Antonio CoHousing group

“We are aiming to bring together gardeners and farmers, environmental justice folks, activists, local food advocates, wildlife and native plant enthusiasts, community organizers, school garden volunteers, green businesses, meetup groups, and the bicycling community.  Also, lots of young people to help them get involved,” Gaona said. “People are itching to get involved but don’t know what resources are already available to them. We see instances where people are trying to reinvent the wheel instead of taking advantage of learning from organizations that really know what they are doing.”

The lobby of Eco Centro at San Antonio College. Photo courtesy of EcoCentro.
The lobby of Eco Centro at San Antonio College. Photo courtesy of EcoCentro.

“With the growth San Antonio is experiencing, it’s the grassroot work we all do that makes the biggest impact within our communities,” said Beth Keel, sustainability liaison with the San Antonio Housing Authority. “‘Common Ground’ will provide us with a venue to meet and discuss how we can shape our city now and into the future. This makes me feel hopeful, and that I have a community that can be called upon when needed.”

There will be music, food, and lots of great conversation.

If you’d like your organization to attend, contact Nadia Gaona at ngaona24@gmail.com.

Here is a tentative list of Common Ground events:

3:00-3:20Opening Remarks
4:00-5:15DJ EPSR
4:15-4:45Connecting and Brainstorming
4:15-4:30Seed Bombs
4:15-4:30Sub Irrigated Planters or SIPs
5:15-5:45Band- Neck Romancers
4:50-5:20Pallet Gardens
5:00-5:15Sustaining Your Brain
5:00-5:15Food Desert Solutions
5:20-5:35Food Policy Council Update
5:30-5:45Vegetable Container Gardening
5:40-5:55Educating Consumers on Food Choices
6:00-7:00Band-Dirty Genez
6:00-6:15Creating a sacred home space
6:00-6:30The Human Path
6:30-6:45Vermicompost
6:35-6:50Building a Sustainable Farm with Habitable Spaces
7:15-7:50Band- Micro Missile Attack
7:00-7:40Center for Natural Living film screening
7:00-7:15LocalSprout
7:35-7:50Meditation Session with Bhagavan Narada Dasa
7:50Closing remarks

*Note: The author is the owner and CEO of LocalSprout and will be participating in EcoCentro this Sunday.

*Featured/top image: Some of the team members at EcoCentro. Photo courtesy of EcoCentro.

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City Planners Weigh Benefits of EcoDistricts

Coming Soon: Accessible, Affordable Community Solar

Seeing the Milky Way in San Antonio–The Easiest Environmental Problem to Fix 

Environmental Groups Sing Off-Key: Climate Change Problem Lost in Translation

Q&A With Betty Dabney: Environmentalist, Writer, Photographer

Mitch Hagney

Mitch Hagney is a writer and hydroponic farmer in downtown San Antonio. Hagney is CEO of LocalSprout and president of the Food Policy Council of San Antonio.