One particularly exciting aspect of re-opening Bioneers offices in San Francisco is the opportunity to engage with the people of Marin. They've supported and welcomed Bioneers to their community for the past 15 years, since we moved the conference to the Marin Center in San Rafael in 1999.
The Marin community is well known for its 50 years of environmental leadership in a county where today over 80% of the land is protected. Now, the County wants to envision the next 50 years in light of all the ways the world, the community, and the modern issues it faces have all radically changed.
A Warm Welcome from MarinLink
One key hub for this shaping next vision is on a quiet second floor corner of the Northgate Mall in San Rafael: MarinLink, an epicenter of the Marin non-profit community.
MarinLink is a non-profit organization that serves as a fiscal sponsor agency and idea incubator, hosting over 5,000 grants for individuals and organizations not incorporated as non-profits. This service makes grant dollars significantly more accessible to individuals and small groups. Even more importantly, MarinLink serves as a social hub that links organizations and community members.
MarinLink co-founders Mary O’Mara and Nancy Boyce, who’ve been supporting Bioneers for over a decade, have stepped up to play a significant role in welcoming Bioneers back to the Bay Area.
Since April, Mary O’Mara, co-founder of MarinLink, has been convening weekly meetings for Bioneers’ new Executive Director Joshua Fouts to connect with key community members. In May, MarinLink hosted a meet-up for Bioneers co-founder Kenny Ausubel with key community leaders at its offices. The event included Marin County Commissioner Steve Kinsey, and Sarah Kelley and C. Taylor Watts, heads of the Marin Environmental Forum, a 40-year-old organization whose renowned Master Classes have included California leaders such as Barbara Boxer.
Mary has also facilitated meetings with key community leaders such as Jamison Watts, head of the Marin Agricultural Land Trust, and Jeffrey Westman, Executive Director of Marin Organics, with many more to come.
Led by Commissioner Kinsey, the Marin County Board of Supervisors is going to recognize Bioneers with a Proclamation at their meeting on September 9, as well as on the main stage at Bioneers 2014. You are invited to attend.
Marin Voices at the 2014 Bioneers Summit Conference
Bioneers will host a special session at the 2014 Summit titled “A New Vision for Marin County: Our Successes, Challenges and Opportunities" on Sunday, October 19, in which we explore the prescience of the past 50 years of Marin’s focus on the environment and how to craft a way forward for the next 50 years. Many of Marin organizations will also be participating in our Change-Makers Fair on the the conference takes place. If you know of an organization that ought to be represented and wants to participate, please let us know.
For several years, in addition to hand-delivering Bioneers Conference brochures to community members (!), Nancy has also made it her personal mission to raise conference scholarship funds that enable dozens of teachers and students to attend Bioneers.
You too can support the scholarship fund for Bioneers’ 25th Anniversary scholarship campaign! Click here and donate to the 2014 scholarship fund to change the life of a youth.
Thank you MarinLink and Marin County! We look forward to deepening our relationship around our shared missions and working together to help Marin continue as a national environmental leader.