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The Launch of the Community Resilience Challenge


The Launch of the Community Resilience Challenge 

Resilience is a word that we are hearing more and more often, and as Daily Acts gears up to celebrate the launch of the annual Community Resilience Challenge, we want to tell a story about what community resilience can look like. 

On a sunny day, a woman was working from her home office. Running a load of laundry while working, she took the wet clothes out of the washing machine and had a momentary impulse to use her convenient dryer rather than the clothesline. Remembering what a warm day it was, she hauled the wet clothes to the yard and hurriedly started hanging the clothes on the clothesline so she could get back to work. Suddenly, she was struck with the words of Eckhart Tolle who said “Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.” She stopped, took a deep breath, and started to think of all the things she was grateful for. As soon as she flicked the gratitude switch on, she stopped noticing the time it took to hang each piece of laundry. It was just her, the blue sky, the laundry and her gratitude. Unexpectedly, what had seemed a burden, became a gift. 

Oftentimes, community resilience is about slowing down. It’s about getting to know your neighbor, walking or cycling instead of driving, weeding by hand instead of spraying, hanging your clothes in the sunshine… What choices can you make to build resilience in your life? Where can you slow down? Where can you remove the cultural filters of fast and convenient and focus on choices that make life rich and abundant?

Each moment that we have on this precious planet is a gift, and every choice you make matters. YOU get to choose how you show up. You can choose to cook a healthy meal that will nourish you; replant vegetables in your garden each year; install drip irrigation to save time, money and water; and give time to the relationships that matter most (including your relationship with yourself). When you make choices that serve you and your values, you grow more resilient. Every choice we make also affects the entire interconnected web of life… so your positive choices also grow your family, your neighbors, your friends, your environment, your co-workers, and your community more resilient.

The Community Resilience Challenge asks us to prioritize our ‘to-do’ list by focusing on the choices that enrich our lives while saving water, growing food, conserving energy, reducing waste, and building community. By participating in the Challenge and committing to take action, you will be helping to make our communities stronger, healthier and more connected. We’ve even come up with a list of suggested actions to get you started, such as hosting a potluck, planting a fruit tree, going organic in your garden, harvesting rainwater, and yes, using a clothesline. To find out more visit

The Community Resilience Challenge runs from mid-March through May 2016 and is now in its 7th year! Since 2010, the Challenge has inspired over 5,000 people to register 22,949 sustainability actions in Sonoma County. Participants register their actions online at and all actions are aggregated on a map to build a picture of the growing resilience movement. Together, we can rise to the many challenges that our communities are facing. Together, we can make a real difference.

Please join us for a celebration to launch the 2016 Community Resilience Challenge on Thursday March 24th, 2016 from 6pm-8pm at the Cavanaugh Community Center, 426 8th Street, Petaluma. Share local refreshments, enjoy a garden tour, experience a home-grown demonstration, connect with like-minded people, and get inspired. Contact Susan Price at to get involved.

Be sure to check out our Rockin’ Homestead tours in Cotati, Petaluma and Windsor on April 30, 2016, which are being offered as part of the Sonoma County Water Agency’s Eco-Friendly Garden Tour. Learn more at