On March 9th and 10th, 1974, twenty two persons gathered at the Friends Meeting House in Syracuse for a weekend workshop, to share their concern about the course of human affairs, and to discuss a proposal for the creation of a "New Environment." This was the beginning of The New Environment Association. That Fall the Statement of Concern and Statement of Objectives were drafted.
Since then, members have:
• operated a coperative garden in Jamesville for several years and also initiated a community garden within the city in 1976
• instituted bulk purchase of natural foods, the "New Environment Food Movement"
• engaged in land search and land evaluation activities, and accumulated funds for land purchase
• operated a rototilling and lawn care service
• established a library for the Association covering a wide range of topics
• set up New Environment Lands, Inc., the land trust for the Association
• conducted various workshops such as the three day "Art of Living in Peace" workshop designed by the International Holistic University of Brasilia for UNESCO
• created a "Household EcoTeam" that met over a period of timein order to study and reduce their environmental impact at home
• formed a New Environment Group at the Syracuse University campus
• published a newsletter on a regular basis
• organized and carried out glass and paper recycling on a significant scale
• experimented with large scale leaf composting
• constructed a solar food dehydrator
• initiated a work exchange
• held an annual benefit sale for many years, beginning in 1979
• annually, since 2012, offered our 18-week course on “A Sustainable Future”
• created a slide tape presentation explaining New Environment ideas
• incorporated The New Environment Institute, the non profit educational, research and service arm of the Association
• operated the "New Environment Association Internship Program" through the Youth Community Service of Syracuse
• carried out tree planting projects
• conducted many study groups, field trips, retreats, outreach and social events
• and influenced in a positive way the lives of those who have become involved in the New Environment process.
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What Members Have Said:
"The N.E.A. has provided a loving spiritual community within whose boundaries I have learned and practiced new ways of living within our fragile environment."
"In my experience with the N.E.A. Food Movement I developed a new consciousness about good food and an increased sense of community in working with others."
"The N.E.A. has provided an important support system for me. I feel appreciated for who I am at this moment and I know that the community will celebrate with me as I take small steps toward living more simply."
"I value the notion of community, that is, a common effort to shape our present and future living on a scale which is manageable by individuals. For me, the N.E.A. provides a group and a process oriented toward giving some practical form to this large idea."
"The N.E.A. has reinforced those ways of being that were stifled during my marriage, such as living more simply and with more awareness of the damaging trends in the mainstream of U.S. life."
"Even though the N.E.A. community seems to represent many shades of opinion I feel it's OK to be me -- to hug one person even though that other person prefers a handshake, for example."
"As a new member of N.E.A., I am glad to be part of a group which affirms the need for community and a vision of a more sustainable and just society."