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Sustainability Without Borders

Earlier this month Boxerwood educator Ginny Johnson traveled to Mexico for first-hand experiences with local organizations that are healing the planet one neighborhood at a time. The opportunity arose from Ginny’s concurrent endeavor as a graduate student in the Virginia Tech Executive Masters of Natural Resources program.

As part of coursework, Ginny and her grad team spent ten days in Mexico as consultants-in-training for two ongoing sustainability projects. During their travels, the group learned how Mexican communities are meeting their own environmental and societal needs through locally-based practices such as rain water harvesting (Mexico City) and sustainable agave agriculture (Oaxaca).

The cross-cultural exchange included hands-on introduction to regenerative agriculture on a floating farm island called a “chinampa” (photo) and working directly with urban dwellers on harvesting rainwater. More than just promoting sustainable actions, Mexican organizations advancing this work use these projects as tools for community engagement and education, much as Boxerwood does back home.

“These community organizations taught me not just about sustainable practices but also about resilience, community spirit, and the profound impact of local initiatives, all of which held familiar echoes of my experiences in Rockbridge and with Boxerwood,” said Ginny. “It was heartening to find that the values we hold dear at home resonate globally.” It’s also heartening that Ginny returned to Boxerwood with inspiring ideas to share with us all.


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