The Emerson Brook Forest Sustainability Project. Celebrate the diversity and interconnectedness of life.

The Sustainability Project Inc. incorporated on March 21, 2000 is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization promoting a love of nature, environmental stewardship, caring communities and ways of living that deepen our understanding of the interconnected web of life.  Our guiding principles embrace diversity, inclusion and compassion as fundamental to the long-term well-being of our planet and its inhabitants.

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edible forest gardens event poster

The Sustainability Project’s primary organizational goals are:

  • to develop wheelchair accessible gardens, trails and camping sites at our 33-acre center in the Emerson Brook Forest.  In addition to giving the public access to a beautiful place in nature, we intend to develop the center as a learning laboratory for edible forest gardening, permaculture design and sustainable community practices.

  • to encourage and support new program ideas, initiatives and collaborations in line with our mission. Individuals or groups with compatible program ideas that could benefit from The Sustainability Project’s organizational structure are invited to contact us at Review our Program Guidelines here.

  • to continue offering (and developing) our mission driven events and activities to bolster our community’s sustainable living skills and capacity for life in balance with the natural world.


Thanks to our supportive community, we were able to continue our efforts and make great progress towards our mission.

In 2012-13, We:

  • Began hosting the Monadnock Region Permaculture Group to provide a network for learning and sharing life skills for sustainable living through discussions, lectures, films, potlucks, garden visits and work parties.  Join our online meetup group by going to:
  • Nurtured our perennial gardens and created hiking trails at our 33 acre Emerson Brook Forest Center in Gilsum, NH.
  • Hosted The 8th Annual Seed Celebration & Sustainable Community Fair in collaboration with the Keene State College Campus Ecology Club, offering 18 different workshops covering a wide range of sustainable community focused topics.
  • Held our annual Wholesome Foods Pancake Breakfast at the Gilsum Rock Swap.
  • Organized Monthly Community Work Days in the Emerson Brook Forest, April-October.
  • Collaborated with Keene State College and Campus Ecology Club to host “A Community Celebration of Music, Art, Dance and Ecology.”
  • Helped the Gilsum Elementary School to provide children in Gilsum and Sullivan with nurturing support and educational activities before and after school.

This year, with your help, we will continue bringing an exciting lineup of programs and activities to the Monadnock region and continue serving as a resource for local sustainable community efforts. Our 2013-14 goals in the Emerson Brook Forest include:

  • Participating in National Public Lands Volunteer Day on September 28th.
  • Mapping our existing edible forest garden and planning future complementary plantings to fill in the gaps.
  • Finishing a wheelchair accessible trail to a vernal pool.
  • Establishing 1-2 accessible tent sites for public use.
  • Installing a sign on Rte. 10 to encourage greater use of the Center.
  • Digging a well for hand washing and watering the gardens.
  • Finishing our lean-to.

We are looking for community support to develop a Mediated Home Share Service to meet our community’s need for affordable housing by:

  1. ➢  Encouraging unique and mutually beneficial home sharing situations.
  2. ➢  Offering a process designed to match housing needs with available housing resources.
  3. ➢  Offering mediation support services as a proactive approach to housing disputes.

The necessary support documents for this program have been developed and can be viewed here. We’re looking for someone with a wide range of organizational skills to manifest the resources to carry this vision into action.  Please contact us 603-209-7272 for more information.

Thank you for making a tax-deductible donation to The Sustainability Project. Together, we can further an appreciation of our beautiful planet and leave a legacy for all species. In addition to making a secure donation through this website, you may also send a check to: The Sustainability Project, PO Box 311, Gilsum NH 03448.

            Thank you for all your efforts on behalf of a sustainable future.


Valerie Piedmont, Executive Director, and the Board Of Directors of The Sustainability Project: Pablo Fleischmann, Betsy Jane, Skot Jervis, Lenoir McDougal and Velvet Young

Trail Tepee

Ways to Get Involved

  • Volunteer your time and energy. There are limitless ways to help promote The Sustainability project's mission -- in the Emerson Brook Forest and in the wider community.
  • Attend a board meeting. We meet bi monthly on the second Monday of the month at 6:30pm at the wheelchair accessible Cleveland Building on Roxbury Plaza in Keene.
  • Join a committee (Governance, Program Development or Fundraising)
  • Lead or take a workshop.
  • Friend us on Face Book
  • Sign up to receive our 1-2 monthly email updates and event listings
  • Make a donation.
  • Visit us in the Emerson Brook Forest or at our office at Green Energy Options, 79 Emerald St. Keene.

Ways To Live Sustainably

* Lighten up your load. Clean out your closets, give away anything extra to someone who can use it.

* Shift your priorities so you can spend more time with family, friends, communities and the simple pleasures of the natural world.  Make time to be the human being that you know you can be; unspoiled by fear, hatred and the drive to compete.

* Look for guidance from the children.  Children represent the highest stage of human evolution and they are great teachers.  Re-learn how to cry.

* Volunteer to mentor a young person. Get close to an elder or someone who may have an isolating disability.  Help a neighbor; lend a hand to a farmer.  If you are not a slave to housework, help make a meal, and/or do the dishes for someone who is.

* Embrace the end of life as a farewell gift, a celebration and an opportunity for family and community to come together in a most meaningful way.  Do everything with love.

* Remember, as Philo would say, “be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.” Look for the good in everyone.

Welcome to our Website. It is a work in progress, so please check back often. 


The Sustainability Project
P.O. Box 311, 26 Emerson Brook Drive, Gilsum, NH 03448, (603) 209-7272

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