moss Summer Camp

moss Summer Camp for Social and Environmental Justice is an invitation to reimagine the role of multispecies care across urban and rural settings, following the guidance of moss (Bryophyta sp.). Participants are invited into an embodied experiential approach to knowing and learning from moss, one of the first plants to arrive on land approximately 4.7 million years ago. Our current moment—a global pandemic, widespread uprisings for racial justice, and increasing climate chaos—asks for fresh ways of being with and relating to our surroundings. moss Summer Camp offers a path to immersion with neighborhood mosses, asking: What if we make the “language of moss” part of the decision-making process as we work to build diverse and equitable multispecies communities where all living beings can thrive?

moss Summer Camp asks participants to complete four moss Protocols (01- 04) that encourage deep engagement through visiting a particular moss who shares the ecosocial habitat of your street or neighborhood. Each moss protocol asks for a response (visual, oral, and/or written) to be uploaded to the EPA’s Multispecies Care website. The last protocol asks participants to contribute a letter to moss’ library. Hosted by the EPA and hydrated by your letters, moss’ library is a library of cir-cu-la-tion. As it grows, moss’ library will merge topics across land rights, reparations, and food systems, with a focus on resources and texts that center BIPOC communities and moss practices.

Why moss? When the EPA went to the Climate March last September, moss marched with us. They are still with us in this time of transformation. We feel, hear, smell, and otherwise sense moss’ teachings and find they have opened the way for shifts in perspective on topics ranging from land use to restorative justice. moss is ubiquitous. They live where you live; we offer these protocols so you can meet them and let them hydrate you with new ways of being.

The moss protocols were built through the weekly online embodied moss In Pandemic Times group gathering, with Dot Armstrong, Nora Almeida, andrea haenggi, Ellie Irons, Simone Johnson + the mosses in our neighborhoods. Initiated and facilitated by andrea + the urban mosses of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the gatherings began in mid-March as stay-at-home orders took hold and continued through late June. These weekly gatherings were grounded by our own weekly practice of visiting mosses in our neighborhoods and discussing readings from Gathering Moss by Robin Wall Kimmerer.

Full participation in moss Summer Camp will lead to a Certificate of Completion from the (real) EPA, the Environmental Performance Agency.

Creating the Climate for moss Summer Camp

  • Attend to comfort and care:
    • As you participate in moss summer camp, move with care and safety for your body and the bodies of others. (pause).
  • bring water. (pause).
  • take time. (pause).
  • listen to understand. (pause).
  • be present: perhaps turn off any messaging devices. (pause).
  • visit moss as many times as you wish. (pause).
  • suggested phrasing for the moss protocols is 01-04. (pause).
  • bring a moss fieldwork notebook with you for notes beyond the Protocol response contents. (pause).
  • Upload your response to (pause).
  • view your contribution as a spore in moss’ library. (pause).
moss and EPA members at the climate march in New York City, September 2019.
moss and EPA members at the climate march in New York City, September 2019.