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Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Ei moves!

In 2021, Elemental Impact (Ei) Founder & CEO Holly Elmore returned to her hometown, Sarasota, Florida, after residing in Atlanta for 40 years, 37 years in her eclectic urban condo. Along with Holly, the Ei national and global headquarters moved to Florida.

Until the fall 2022, Holly's primary focus was caregiving for her elderly mother, and Ei slipped into the chrysalis stage of a major metamorphosis. Yet, as documented in the Ei Milestones page, Ei built a strong Sarasota environmental foundation while in the chrysalis stage.

Ei Rewilding Urban Landscapes Pilots
For the first time in her adult life, Holly moved into a home with a yard, a large yard! A primary focus in late 2021 was rewilding the yard within two pilots: 1> the front-yard native-plant landscape pilot and 2> the permaculture-oriented backyard pilot. 

The Regeneration in ACTION Magazine (RiA) article, Ei Rewilding Urban Landscapes Pilots, introduces the pilots along with the urban-wildlife and environmental impact; the Holly Elmore Images (HEI) Ei Rewilding Urban Landscapes album documents the pilots' progress in a series of photo galleries.

Native-Plant Landscape Pilot

 Five months after installation, the young native-
plant front-yard landscape is thriving.
After removing ornamental non-native plants and smothering the grass, Ei contracted with Pamela Callender of Lifelines to design and install a lovely native-plant landscape. Additionally, the impervious driveway was removed and replaced with mulch. On November 19, 2021, the two-day installation was complete and the plant nurturing began.

Graced with two oaks trees, a live oak and laurel oak, the front yard has a large oblong, shaded area. Plans are for a low deck with ample seating under the oak trees for educational and entertaining uses.

The HEI album, Ei Native-Plant-Landscape Pilot, documents the front-yard evolution through a series of photo galleries.

Backyard-Permaculture Pilot
While focused on the front-yard native-plant landscape,
the backyard was permitted to return to its "wild state" with abundant plant diversity; a variety of happy insects frolicked in the knee-high grass infiltrated with flowering plants. 

Six weeks post-Hurricane Ian the resilient
food forest recovered from the ravaging winds.
Listening to the yard's requests, Ei slowly "tamed" the backyard with mulched paths, a banana compost circle, a row of native-blueberry bushes under the roof dripline, a pollinator garden, a food forest, and a raised herb-garden area with sun protection. Once the invasive carrotwood tree was removed, the south-side yard was opened to ample sunshine and prepped for a vegetable, herb, and edible-flower garden.

Ei Supporter Zach Zildjian of Zach Zildjian Design Services (ZZ Design) oversees the backyard evolution and uses the pilot as a showcase for "what can be done" in a neighborhood scenario.

The HEI album, Ei Backyard-Permaculture Landscape Pilot, documents the backyard's evolution through a series of photo galleries.

On September 28, 2022, Hurricane Ian pummeled Florida's central Gulf Coast and caused catastrophic damage a mere 80 miles south in Ft. Myers. Sarasota experienced 85 miles-per-hour winds and receiving 5 - 15 inches of rain, depending on the specific location. The rewilding pilots were ravaged, yet overall weathered the hurricane with minimal long-term damage.

Ei supports the SURF - Suncoast Urban Reforesters - Microforests via ZZ Design mentorship and HEI photo-documentation services. ZZ Design provides the technical expertise required to design and implement microforest-soil preparation and -tree planting.

As stated on the LA Microforest site: 

Microforests (also called pocket forests, mini forests, and tiny forests) are densely-planted, multilayered indigenous forests planted in urban spaces which act as self-sustaining ecosystems that reconnect fragmented habitat and restore biodiversity.

The Miyawaki method involves the randomized planting of small saplings of various indigenous shrubs and trees (grown from local, regionally adapted seeds) in very close proximity together, where no two trees or shrubs of the same height are planted side by side.

Over 100 volunteers participated in the
Heritage Harbour Microforest planting day.
On January 18, 2023, over 100 volunteers from 5-years old to 85-years old participated in the Heritage Harbor Microforest-planting day. Due to superb underlying organization by ZZ Design, over 2,000 trees were planted on the ½-acre site in less than five hours. The HEI Heritage Harbour Microforest Planting album gives a still-photo documentary of the event.

A one-acre microforest installed on a 1 ½-acre peninsula within the Manatee River, the Colony Cove Microforest, was planted on June 13, 2022. The HEI album, Colony Cove Microforest, includes a series of galleries documenting the microforest-planting day.

The RiA article, Urban Afforestation: Food Forests and Microforests, gives an in-depth introduction to food forests and microforests along with their profound environmental and societal impact; global examples are featured.

Lambda Alpha International (LAI)
As she sits on the the LAI Global Executive Committee, 
upon arriving in Sarasota, Holly immediately embarked on building a local LAI Community of At-Large members. Holly scheduled Ei- and LAI-introduction meetings with the Sarasota environmental leadership. With nearly 100% success, the environmental leaders accepted Holly's LAI At-Large-member nominations.

Ei orchestrated an impressive February 17, 2023 LAI Coastal-Water Quality: Challenges, Solutions, and Economic Impact Global Webinar. The global webinar was the second program in an eighteen-month series about water and land economics around the globe hosted by the LAI Global Water Group.

LAI At-Large Members from Florida’s Central Gulf Coast shared on global-coastal-water challenges along with the economic impact to the local and regional communities. With a well-orchestrated plan, via the Water-Quality Playbook, community organizations execute programs designed to prevent water contamination from land use and to cleanse contaminates in the water.

The Sarasota Bay Report Card documents achievements and remaining challenging scenarios. Teamwork is required for success with support provided by local, state, and federal governments as well as the community (foundations and taxpayers.)

Panelists included:

  • David Tomasko, Ph,D, Sarasota Bay Estuary Program Executive Director
  • Jon Thaxton, Gulf Coast Community Foundation Senior Vice President Community Investment
  • Christine Johnson, Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast President
  • Sandy Gilbert, Solutions to Avoid Red Tide Chair 

Sarasota ROCKS when it comes to water-quality commitments; after all, the local economy and way of life depend on healthy waters!

Listen to the webinar recording on LAI TV to learn about Sarasota’s successful collaborative water-quality projects and programs; the Coastal-Water Quality: Challenges, Solutions, and Economic Impact article provides an in-depth synopsis of the webinar content; panelist PPT presentations are available for download within the article copy.

Regenerative Working Group (RWG)
Throughout Ei's chrysalis stage, the RGW Executive Team met the second Tuesday of the month via a Zoom call without missing a beat. The team expanded with new members, and several members, who met via RWG, are working together on exciting global projects.

LAI membership is a prerequisite to RWG participation.

Ei Connects
In May 2022, Holly Elmore introduced colleagues and friends Save Our Seabirds (SOS) CEO Aaron Virgin and Lifelines Founder Pam Callender. Aaron is an Ei Advisor, Rotary Club of Sarasota Bay member (via Holly's nomination,) and a RWG Executive Team member. SOS is an Ei Strategic Ally.

Pam Callender & Aaron Virgin
Funded by a Longboat Key Garden Club grant, Aaron contracted with Pam to design the transformation of an unsightly drainage ditch into a stormwater-demonstration garden. Native plants were selected for coastal properties and bird habitat. On February 28, 2023, Pam oversaw the installation of 360 plants (54 species) by volunteers and Aaron himself!

The RiA Magazine article, Ei Connections: Save our Seabirds | Lifelines, showcases the Ei Connection as well as the Lifelines drainage-ditch transformation; the Holly Elmore Images album, Save our Seabirds / Lifelines, provides a pictorial recap.

As Holly went to high school with the Director of Education at the Community Day School (CDS,) Ei facilitated several introductions to CDS regarding microforests and other educational opportunities.

With Ei well established in Sarasota, future Ei Connections are staged for common occurrences.

Local Organizations
In October 2021, Ei's member nomination was approved by the prominent Science and Environment Council (SEC) Board. While acquainting herself with Sarasota environmental leadership, Holly was advised to join and get involved in the SEC; it the backbone of Sarasota's environmental community. Membership resides with the organization, not an individual; organizations must be invited to nominate themselves.

Pre-dinner portrait at the 2023
Sarasota HomeStay Program
Sponsored by Ei Advisor Charles Reith, Holly was inducted into the Rotary Club of Sarasota Bay. With their stated environmental commitment, the Sarasota Bay Club is a SURF member and supports the microforest plantings spearheaded by Charles.

At the request of the Rotary Club leadership, Holly attended various events at the Rotary 47th Annual Sarasota District Governor-Elect (DGE) HomeStay Program; Rotary DGEs from across the globe attended the five-day event. Holly served as the official photographer. The HEI album folder, 2023 DGE Sarasota HomeStay Program, documents the events.

Speaking Engagements
As 2022 came to a close, Holly co-presented with Zach on SOIL: the foundation of life to the attentive Universal Unitarian Green Team at the request of LAI At-Large Member Mary Anne Bowie. As an encore performance, Holly shared a similar presentation in February 2023 to the ECO Democrats Manatee.

The RiA Magazine article, Soil & Water The Foundation of Life, recaps the presentation outline with more in-depth information. PPT presentations are available for download on Ei Speaking Engagement page.

With her mother situated with excellent caregiving, Holly may once again focus full-time on Ei. The chrysalis stage is complete, and Ei is ready to soar within and from a robust foundation. Publication of the 2023 Ei Spring Newsletter, the first in two years, signifies Ei's wings are dry from the cocoon and ready for flight.


Tax-deductible donations in any amount are greatly appreciated to support Ei's important work. 


About Elemental Impact:
Elemental Impact (Ei) is a 501(c)3 non-profit founded in 2010 as the home to the Zero Waste Zones, the forerunner in the nation for the commercial collection of food waste for compost. In June 2017, Ei announced the Era of Recycling Refinement was Mission Accomplished and entered the Era of Regeneration. Current focus areas include Nature PrevailsSoil Health | Regenerative Agriculture, and Water Use | Toxicity.

The Regeneration in ACTION Magazine articles, From Organic Certification to Regenerative Agriculture to Rewilding Landscapes: an evolution towards soil integrity and SOIL & WATER: the foundation of life, published to explain and substantiate the importance of Ei’s rewilding urban landscapes work within the Nature Prevails focus area.

The Holly Elmore Images Rewilding Urban Landscapes-album folder documents two active pilots: the Native-Plant Landscape Pilot and the Backyard Permaculture-Oriented Pilot.

To work with industry leaders to create best regenerative operating practices where the entire value-chain benefits, including corporate bottom lines, communities, and the environment. Through education and collaboration, establish best practices as standard practices.

Ei’s tagline – Regeneration in ACTION – is the foundation for Ei endeavors.

The following mantra is at the core of Ei work:

Ei is a creator, an incubator.
Ei determines what could be done that is not being done and gets it done.
Ei brings the possible out of impossible.
Ei identifies pioneers and creates heroes.

For additional information, contact Holly Elmore at 404-510-9336 |

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