Embracing Change

Hello, Common Ground Relief friends and supporters!

I have a few important announcements to share from the CGR team.

After an excellent 3 years, I am transitioning away from CGR. I have found deep joy, growth, and pride in leading this team.

We have recovered from a pandemic, two significant hurricanes, and a tornado. We planted 14,600 trees and 107,000 plugs of marsh grass, doubling our marsh grass planting volume this spring compared to previous years. We built a berm of recycled Christmas trees and a berm of recycled glass sand, and we fixed a beaver dam.

We re-launched and sustained CGR’s community aid program via the Free Pantry and response to recent disasters, helping over 2,500 neighbors. We educated and connected with over 2,000 volunteers, students, and neighbors. We added part time and full time staff members and re-introduced live-in core volunteer roles. We grew our governing body and added new engaged leaders to our board.

I’m proud of what we’ve done — restored dozens of miles of coastline and dozens of acres of forest!! — and the way we’ve done it — with joy, efficacy, consent, partnership, creativity, and justice at the forefront. The relationships among our CGR team and partners have meant an incredible amount to me and I very much look forward to carrying on as a co-conspirator and friend. I remain dedicated to community care, land stewardship, and the climate justice movement in SELA and will be engaged in these efforts moving forward.

With that said, Common Ground Relief will be hiring a Director of Administration to fill out the team and continue this work. We remain committed to a horizontal leadership structure with plenty of cross-training, but we are creating more clarity in responsibilities between the Co-Director roles: Joshua Benitez will be the Director of Operations and we are hiring for a Director of Administration. Please spread the word! Review the description below and apply by Friday, August 26.

We also are excited to announce changes to our Board of Directors! We thank Dr. Chris Voigt and Shalanda Cavalier for their service to the Common Ground Relief team as they move on from their roles. We thank Nick Karel, James Stram, Kellyn Lacour-Conant, Blaise Pezold, and Rollin Black for their continued dedication. We are very excited to announce that Laura Sage Marshall, Bek Markel, Selena Bolton, Ethan Chichester, Charles Chaisson, and Annie Moran will be joining the board and bringing new enthusiasm to our leadership team.

Thank you once again to all of Common Ground Relief’s dedicated supporters — without our wonderful web of caring people, this work and this joy would not be possible.

In swampy solidarity,

Charlotte Clarke