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Nance Klehm

Nance Klehm is a “radical ecologist” whose multifaceted practice seeks to foster awareness of how we coexist with plant and animal populations all around us. She is an ecological systems designer, landscaper, horticultural consultant, and permacultural grower. Her work focuses on soil, ecology and community.

Klehm is known for her ‘urban foraging’ workshops that serve as a basic primer in soil health in Chicago and other cities. Klehm also leads interactive workshops that create connections between participants, the urban environment and the natural ecosystems. The “Living Kitchen” cooking series, for example, “uses foods that are locally cultivated, as well as foraged, in order to explore our environs and our relationship with what’s growing around us.”

These tours and workshops help people understand how they are part of an ecosystem that they occupy symbiotically with other living entities. By enhancing a citizen’s understanding of a relationship to urban nature and the connectedness of the urban ecosystem, Klehm hopes to foster a deepened sense of community, even as the forces of urbanization push us toward becoming strangers with one another.

We spent some time with Nance on our podcast, Social Design Insights, where she shared with us some of her experiences in connecting modern urbanity and ecology. Listen to Episode 45 | Finding Nature Beneath our Feet here.