Category Archives: Campus

Marian’s Photo Essay on “Inanimate Animals of Collington: Summer 2017”

Last year we published pictures of some of the inanimate creatures with whom we share our campus. There was an occasional complaint that a given animal had been overlooked, and others seem to have come wandering in, to nestle quietly under some available shade…

The inanimate creatures are as varied as their animate cousins. They have all kinds of different shapes and temperaments. This summer it seems we’ve had quite an influx of calm and slow-moving turtles and dragonflies…

Some creatures are are far more in-your-face assertive…

Some are pale, sleepy, shy or just quiet…

While others are more colorful, but nestled in vegetation…

And some are just happy to be together.

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After the publication of the recent batch of photos, we were surprised and delighted to be sent additions — the first three pictures below are by Shirley Denman. We were directed to additional locations by several other residents, and following their guidance, discovered many more. So here are pictures of yet more sweet, serene or slightly sinister creatures, now living silently in the shadows of our cottages.

Nestled among foliage, it was hard to spot these happy cats and this solemn dog. And we might never have known about the magnificent driftwood lion below, if Alice Nicolson hadn’t clued us to its location in the Arbor garden.

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The first batch of pictures has inspired another photographer, who is out and about with his camera these days, adding to the collection. Both of us will continue publishing our discoveries as they are uncovered.   Meantime, enjoy a few more…

The owner of the cute critter on the far right (who also owns the watchful heron) says it’s an otter, and no doubt she is right; but to us it looks quite like a meerkat too…

This set ends with (left) something special that its owner calls a ‘prairie Buddha’. The owner of the bird on the right tells us it’s a quail. It’s certainly handsome.

Remember, along with any other outdoor friends we find, images of the inanimate animals living in the corridors of the apartments will be coming later this summer!

 

Another Way for Collington to Support the Paris Agreement

The New York Times has this absolutely unprecedented story about the reaction to the President’s plan to withdraw the US from the Paris Climate Change Agreement:

Representatives of American cities, states and companies are preparing to submit a plan to the United Nations pledging to meet the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions targets under the Paris climate accord, despite President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the agreement.

The unnamed group — which, so far, includes 30 mayors, three governors, more than 80 university presidents and more than 100 businesses — is negotiating with the United Nations to have its submission accepted alongside contributions to the Paris climate deal by other nations.

“We’re going to do everything America would have done if it had stayed committed,” Michael Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor who is coordinating the effort, said in an interview.

By redoubling their climate efforts, he said, cities, states and corporations could achieve, or even surpass, the pledge of the administration of former President Barack Obama to reduce America’s planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions 26 percent by 2025, from their levels in 2005.

I have only one question — where do we sign up and get counted?

 

Collington and Climate Change

What can individual and collective citizens of what now might be seen to be a “rogue nation” do?

These thoughts, that are obviously not necessarily those of Collington, Kendal, the Resident Association, or others here, were recently posted in slightly different form on a different blog.  The are shared here in the hope that they may be of use in triggering discussion in this and other such communities as we consider the implications of our stewardship obligations and opportunities.  (Alternative points of view from those connected to our communities, very welcome.)

If you can, buy goods made in states that are making every effort to comply with Paris goals.  The less industrial activity in non-compliant states, the lower the emissions.

If you can not make a US “Humanity First” purchase, consider the costs and benefits of buying goods made in countries that are still committed to meeting the Paris goals.  (Yes, its hard to boycott your own country, and there will be political blow-back, but surely environmentally it is the logical thing to do (after considering transportation issues).  After all, tragically, lessened industrial activity in the US will reduce worldwide emissions.

Make investment decisions based on companies, states’ and countries’ efforts to support the Paris goals.

Encourage organizations to make their decisions on the same criteria. .  .  .

Accelerate your planting and environmental plans, personally and organizationally.

 

Goals, Principles, and Values in Planning

The more we get into resident participation in every level of planning, from space design to long term strategic planning, I am coming more and more to understand how important it is to structure discussions in ways that everyone can engage.  We all think about things differently, and we give our best thoughts when those thoughts are stimulated in a variety of  parallel ways.

In part it is about meeting process, listening, and meeting leadership, and there will surely be much discussion about that as we go forward.

But here I want to focus on the importance of values, goals and principles.  What I am seeing again and again is that when we get caught too early in the weeds, it is very hard to pull together and keep moving to decisions and beyond.  So I have become an advocate of focusing early on goals, values and principles, and getting agreement on those as a tool for resolving disagreements.

Some recent examples from Collington.  Back when we were discussing the so-called “transition process,” that is the process why which decisions are made about the appropriate level of care within our continuum for a resident, we started off talking about a lot of specifics, and trying to write policy out of those specifics.  There was a lot of anxiety from both residents and staff.

So we backed off, and agreed on principles first.  In particular we led with the most important principle, that of resident autonomy.  The simple idea was that absent certain very limited exceptions, the decision was ultimately that of the resident, or “patient self-detirmination,” as we called it.  The principle, particularly when expanded and qualified in other principles, made it remarkably easy to resolve other issues as they came up.  The policy summary is here.

A very different example occurred at one of the excellent meetings that the Districts have been having about how to improve our central courtyard. No suprize that that discussion brings up very powerful feelings about space, community, design, etc.  So, there it has been suggested that an initial focus on goals and principles might be very helpful, rather than getting bogged down in the merits of specific suggestions.

Here, then, are some possible goals and principles that might be a draft which, after input and changes, might be appropriate for this particular situation.  They are offered more as an example of the approach than for the specifics.

The courtyard should be usable for as large amount of the year as possible.

The courtyard should be usable by as high a proportion of our residents as possible.

The courtyard should provide a powerful visual focus for our community.

The courtyard should foster communication and connection within, and even beyond, our community.

The courtyard should be maintainable at a reasonable cost.

As we move forward, I think we will see more and more the utility of this approach.

 

 

 

 

The 2017 Collington Memorial Weekend Regatta Photos From Marian Fuchs

Regatta pictures: Here are some pictures of the boats, spectators and event participants at Saturday’s enjoyable event at Collington Lake. First some boats….

Next some happy spectators…