A very special Thank You to all those who made the 21st Annual Heartwood Family Reunion a joyful success!
To our Co-Sponsors, whose financial support funded the event and whose dedication and spirit fuels the Heartwood fire!
Starla Medina Scholarship Fund
featured our keynote speaker Kevin Tungesvick of the Heart of the River Coalition, an inspiring speaker who told the story of a successful fight to stop a destructive dam project on the West Fork White River in Anderson, Indiana.
followed by music from the Lick Creek Band! After the music on stage was done, the music continued around the campfire by the pond until late in the night
The day begins with a morning circle, a chance to tell your story and hear how everyone else is doing. The Morning Circle is an invokation of Place, and opens the Reunion.
Morning Circle at the 2016 Heartwood Reunion
A visit from John Muir, reminding us “Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean…. Man must be made conscious of his origin as a child of Nature. Brought into right relationship with the wilderness he would see that he was not a separate entity endowed with a divine right to subdue his fellow creatures and destroy the common heritage, but rather an integral part of a harmonious whole. He would see that his appropriation of earth’s resources beyond his personal needs would only bring imbalance and beget ultimate loss and poverty for all.”
A hike to find the Free Lands, some acres in the Hoosier National Forest that somehow fell off the tax rolls and are “owned by nobody”
We visited a tremendous Ash tree, a forest giant that has fallen to the Emerald Ash Borer. As autumn brings the leaf change color to the hillsides, their hues of burnished copper and gilded bronze carry a special poignancy as this tree disappears from the forest. The Ash reminds us that our fight to defend the native ecosystems of this continent is connected to the struggles of people around the world who fight the consequences of global trade and the corporate dominance of the landscape everywhere.
Go Granny D!
Saturday evening featured a presentation honoring the great Granny D, a woman from New Hampshire who at the age of 90 walked across the continent from LA to DC to draw attention to the need for campaign finance reform. Heartwood hosted the “real” Granny D in 2001 and it is our great honour to host this presentation by Barbara Bates and Jeff Sebens remembering her life and her vision.
The Talent Show is an informal way to highlight all the incredible songwriting/performance/spoken word/musical and other forms of talent gathered around a Heartwood circle.
This year, for the first time in far too long, Heartwood closed the event with an Action. Throughout the weekend, the kids led the Art Space and painted signs and banners for a day of leafletting and revelry at a popular nearby spot in the Harrison-Crawford State Forest. Several animal costumes were a featured distraction from activists who climbed the Fire Tower, and hung a canvas banner that was visible for miles around.
Speaking of actions, this year’s Hellbender Award goes to all the folks at Sacred Stone and Red Warrior camps, standing strong and protecting Rivers from the Dakota Access Pipeline. Donations are greatly needed, especially of winter gear, as winter is approaching yet the blockades and direct actions continue.