On Saturday, March 14th, 2009 we will meet from 10 am to 4 pm at the Caspar Community Center in Caspar to discuss how we see Caspar in the year 2020. Everyone who loves Caspar is invited to attend. Come with your stories and experiences of what have worked so far in your life and what have you done successfully to get where you are now. This event will be facilitated by Charles Bush who has had much experience in leading groups. Your participation will be very important.
Looking forward, we see many challenges, so many that we are at times transfixed and unable to imagine how to proceed. What kind of a world will we leave to our children? Will they thank us? Maybe by looking backwards, from a time in the future when we have been able to respond to the challenges, we can "remember" how we solved the problems and found the answers? Even if we can't remember, we can help steer better if we know where we intend to go. This process is called "backcasting".
Your ideas will be brought to the Caspar Board of Directors' Annual Retreat in April to help them understand what the community sees as their Caspar in the future.
Charles Bush, the Caspar 2020 facilitator, is well known on the coast as the director of the Mendocino Community School from 1976 to 1983 and the director of the ROP program in Mendocino. He has also taught philosophy at the College of the Redwoods and Humboldt State University. More recently he has consulted with clients on their organizational development including but not limited to the Noyo Food Forest, Evergreen Methodist Church, Coast 2020, Mendocino 2020, Taos Neighborhood Planning Association, Mendocino County Schools, Sacramento School District, UCLA, and the California State University Drug Policy Commission. He has received the California Golden Bell Award from the California State Board of Education for outstanding innovation in California education.
Caspar 2020 : Rhoda Teplow : 2009-03-24 17:44:40
On Saturday, March 14th, at the Caspar Community Center about 19 people partook of the CASPAR 2020 event. Charles Bush was the day’s facilitator, and the three other facilitators were Jim Tarbell, economics, Michael Potts, culture and Charles, physical environment. The Casparados were joined by a travel writer and Stephanie Gold, a freelance writer from Boonville. Ms. Gold is writing an article on Randy Hester of UC Berkeley and Caspar.
At 10 am Charles opened the day by explaining what back casting is. He described it as placing yourself in 2020 and retelling the story of what worked well allowing you to get to this moment in time in Caspar using all the positive possibilities you can imagine. We came up with many wonderful ideas for our town 11 years from now. Here are only a few of the ideas. We shared that WE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY to slow down, to grow our own food, to keep our dark sky, to be authentic here, to coin our own money, to encourage diversity, to make loan packets, to invest our retirement here, to use our national reputation, to become a green village, to be a model for other towns, to create our own goods and services, to mine our brain trust, and to work together with consensus,
At about 11:30 am Michael Potts helped us envision what the CASPAR CULTURE will be like in 2020. We talked about walking into Caspar to the Caspar Café in the morning for good conversation and freshly baked pastries from our own local bakery, about drinking tea grown in our community garden, with honey and lemon raised and grown locally. The beehives also provide us with candles. Music in the café was piped in from the local music studio, which allows locals to record their own music, which is shared around the world on the Internet. Children lf all ages romp in the café as elders tell stories about what Caspar was like in the 90’s when there was no café, no beehives, no bakery, when we had to buy everything in our two neighboring towns. Then some of us would walk over to our community warehouse on the Caspar Wharf and pick up our supplies, which we ordered on the net. The supplies could have arrived on steamboats or sailboats. Some people take their new tools back to their shops and create wonderful wood, metal or ceramic art and functional objects, which sustain the town. The huge ceramic cisterns collect water from the roof of the Community Center. Our metal workers recycle old metal parts and forge them into new tools, nails and other parts. Our wood workers work with the potters to make the High Doggie Diners, which will be sold on the Internet and perhaps appear in the White House for the President’s new dog! Now in 2020 we have a library building, a tool library, an art gallery and a ceramics studio. We are comfortable in our homes, which have been winterized with double pane windows, hydronic floors and state of the art materials. Our visitors are also comfortable in the small cottages provided for them in Caspar. We hitch a ride on the tram that goes from one end of Caspar to the other on overhead rails or in little vehicles run by local fuel, which will be methane from our cows or from gorse oil.
We feel that our RELATIONSHIPS ARE SUPREME OVER STUFF and we enjoy our time together in our gathering places but cherish our time alone in our own homes. We gather at night to watch TV or movies together or to enjoy a show at our performing arts space where our children teach their children music and dance and theatre.
After lunch Jim led us in a session on the ECONOMY. We visualized that for the town to stay the same it has to change. We will spend our Caspar Coins on supplies we need to make our crafts and to import food we can’t grow ourselves. The coins could be worth 10 hours of service or in trade for local goods. It will be a participatory economy. We will have a desalination plant and trade our water to others. We appreciate that it is ok for land to just be and to stay untouched. We will benefit from our own marine resources. We recycle our own garbage and make things from it. We will have our own efficient energy from the sun, windmills, waves, and from the bouncing highway. We will be self-insured. We will own our own homes on a land trust and be able to move out into other land trusts around the country. We will invest our stocks and retirements into this town and not far away.
After a break Charles led us in our back casting of the local ENVIRONMENT. He mentioned that Randy Hester has listed our sacred spaces. We envisioned our creeks once more full of salmon because we cleaned them up. The old white company house houses our social services with a tower watching over our children at play. We gather protein from our fish, eggs, cows, goats and sheep to add to all the vegetables from our garden. Our sheep provide us with wool to make garments for ourselves or to trade with coastal visitors. Our precious water runs through the Caspar Water Works where it is filtered and bottled in our glass bottles or ceramic jugs and traded with the two towns near by or put into pipes for the town passing through our water garden of pools with fish, thermal baths, swimming pools, and exercise pools. The water runs along our curved paths that pass flowers and sculptures. Our paths are a wonder to those coming from the North on the California Coastal Trail. The surplus water is sent via aqueducts to Boonville to help grow the grapes there. In exchange they send us back wine on trucks using gas from the fermented grapes!
We ended with a wrap up before 3 pm feeling a profound trust of our individuality. We sensed how hard we work to improve Caspar and to help our neighbors. There was a feeling of joyfulness during this relaxing Sunday, and we had a lovely time. Charles Bush noted at the end that with all the groups he has worked with we were the first who have a sense that they live in an intertwined village with a commons. He acknowledged that we do things with consensus and that we also appreciate our alone time and allow for the Libertine in all of us. The land belongs to no one. We, Casparados, are just guests.
Many, many exciting dreams were shared, and these are only a few of the ones I can remember, Rhoda Teplow.