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Cultivating Place: Cultivating Intention: Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Ali Meders-Knight, Mechoopda

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All images courtesy of Ali Meders-Knight, Chico TEK

Ali Meders-Knight is a Mechoopda tribal member whose traditional and present homelands are based in interior Northern California, a mother of five, and a traditional basketweaver in Chico, CA she is also a tribal liaison working to form partnerships for federal forest stewardship contracting and tribal forestry programs authorized in the 2018 Farm Bill.

She has been a Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) practitioner for over 20 years, creating, collaborating on, and leading decolonized environmental education and land restoration projects with Chico State University and the City of Chico.

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All images courtesy of Ali Meders-Knight, Chico TEK

In 2009 she envisioned and helped to manifest a unique 17-acre interactive food forest and interpretive park in North Chico known as Verbena Fields. This restoration of a small slice of the degraded watershed and its native plants works to heal land while educating the larger human community about the rich ecological heritage of the Mechoopda people.

As Ali expresses in all aspects of her cultivating practice, especially as the founder of the Chico Traditional Ecological Knowledge Program: "Wassa Honi Mep! (Keep your heart's intentions good!)”

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All images courtesy of Ali Meders-Knight, Chico TEK

In her specific place, she is a model for cultivators everywhere in traditional ecological knowledge providing a saving grace for returning health and prosperity to lands, economies, and communities. As we enter in July, join us!

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Jennifer Jewell is the creator and host of the national award-winning, weekly public radio program and podcast, Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History & the Human Impulse to Garden, Jennifer Jewell is a gardener, garden writer, and gardening educator and advocate. Particularly interested in the intersections between gardens, the native plant environments around them, and human culture, she is the daughter of garden and floral designing mother and a wildlife biologist father.
Matt Fidler is a producer and sound designer with over 15 years’ experience producing nationally distributed public radio programs. He has worked for shows such as Freakonomics Radio, Selected Shorts, Studio 360, The New Yorker Radio Hour and The Takeaway. In 2017, Matt launched the language podcast Very Bad Words, hitting the #28 spot in the iTunes podcast charts.