The Commons

Explore our archive of articles on The Commons.

Rebuilding Earth’s Forest Corridors


Nature tends to live in ribbons—the forest corridor, the mountain range, the coastline, and the winding river. Any ecosystem that is disconnected from similar (or different) ecosystems will eventually die.

The Treasure of Our Living, Relational Commons


As I have learned about the social life of trees and the intimate bonds that indigenous peoples have with various lifeforms and rivers – and as I pore through recent ecophilosophy that explains aliveness to the western mind -- I’ve concluded: We really ought to be talking more about animism and commoning.

The Power of Allurement


In the face of this devastation, is there space for contemplating beauty? The power of allurement says yes, we must. This power draws us out of ourselves, brings us to life, again and again.

Good Fortune


Three miles and four hours later we creep back to the starting point, our eyes exhausted, necks stiff, but our curiosity only whetted. Savoring this feast as we drive home, I’m reminded of Thoreau’s words: Wealth in-doors may be the inheritance of few, but it is equally distributed on the Common. Today I am a rich woman.

From What Is to What If


Given the state of the world, the message of despair is pretty convincing. Things look grim. But something about that doesn’t sit quite right with me. In fact, there’s evidence that things can change, and that cultures can change, rapidly and unexpectedly.

Burning Man | What We’ve Learned


"We don’t need a blueprint, we don’t want a master plan, we just need to practice the skills and create the kind of spaces we want to live in, and share them."

Restoring the Housatonic River Walk


The ongoing creation of River Walk also speaks to the human element. It marks the confluence of ecological renewal, environmental and social justice, the underpinnings of the industrial revolution, and the vitality of a downtown.

Documenting Land Trauma


Since the mid-1990s, when I first learned about it, a fervent desire of mine has been for this type of coal mining to be halted and forever banned. If my photos have helped build a movement calling for the abolition of mountain-top removal, then I have accomplished something in my life.

Among the Nightingales in Berlin


David’s latest recording projects are focused on collaborations with nightingales. As part of the work, Rothenberg and an international band of musicians perform music in concert with nightingales in Berlin’s public parks.

Rhino Conservation


There has been lots of press around big cats and elephants. Not as many people know about the plight of the rhinos and, in fact, I did not. I said, "Fantastic. If the rhinos need help, then we are here to help the rhinos."