FaithLands is a growing national movement to connect and inspire faith communities to use their land in new ways that promote ecological and human health, support local food and farming, enact reparative justice, and strengthen communities.
This project began as a seed of idea that was germinated in a conversation between faith leaders and the Greenhorns in 2017. The seed began to grow with the support of the Globetrotter Foundation, which helped to finance the first FaithLands Gathering hosted at Paicines Ranch in March 2018. Organized by a small group of dedicated faith and land access leaders, the gathering brought together 30 multi-faith participants from around the country working at the intersection of faith, ecological stewardship, and farming.
This emerging coalition is led by Agrarian Trust and a multi-faith Leadership Team that is working to shape a national dialogue to support faith communities in considering options for the future of their land. Making land available for farming and community gardening, developing faith-based land use partnerships, donating land to be held by a land trust, and creating ecological management plans for your land are just some ways that faith communities can take steps towards greater ecological and land stewardship.
Access to land is the greatest barrier for beginning farmers. By making land available for sustainable agriculture and conservation of biodiversity, faith communities can make a positive impact towards the health of the planet and its people. Projects that combine agriculture, conservation, faith, and neighborhood partnerships can embody long-held faith-based values, while providing new avenues for relationship, reconciliation, and ecological and spiritual renewal.
As we consider the future possible uses of faith lands, we also acknowledge the often complex and difficult history of how land came into faith ownership and the historic policies and practices that have prevented access to land for communities of color. We are reckoning with the dispossession of land managed by indigenous communities for thousands of years; of communities of color who have had to forcibly work the land and have been disproportionately denied access to land. We commit to being in dialogue with communities that have been harmed, and to work towards developing collaborative projects that seek to heal and make reparations with these communities.