For 20 years the Biophilia Foundation has supported community 'Weavers' working to build

local restoration economies.*

A short message from Michele Daaé

Marketing & Publicity, Biophilia Foundation

One of the main reasons we are faced with existential threats is a lack of connection between people and the natural world. Without that tie, efforts to protect wildlife, improve water quality, and prevent climate change will face remarkably steep odds for success.

An aspect of Biophilia Foundation’s work that makes us stand out is the emphasis we place on reconnecting individuals with their planet. Once reconnected, people are more likely to stay connected and to integrate ecological decision making into their lives.

Biophilia Foundation supports community "weavers" who are working to create local economies based on restoring ecological function, climate resilience, and thus true sustainability; a restoration economy*.

Weavers (as New York Times columnist David Brooks describes them) are community leaders who work quietly to build relationships within their local communities –folks that put the ‘we’ before the ‘me’.

As we celebrate Biophilia’s 20th anniversary, we ask you to help us support the efforts of local weavers working to build local restoration economies. The time to transform communities from a traditional economy to a restorative economy is now. We otherwise risk ecological and societal collapse.

Erosion and a biological desert caused by intensive agricultural practices and poor land management.

The Facts: Threats

  • One million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction.
  • Seventy-five percent of freshwater resources are devoted to crop or livestock production. 
  • One acre of wildlife habitat is lost every 30 seconds in the United States alone.
  • Human health and well-being suffer with the deterioration of the natural world.
  • Rates of depression, obesity, and suicides are at all time highs due to social isolation and societal fragmentation.

The Facts: Solutions

  • Participating with others to restore nature connects people to one another, relieving feelings of isolation, while improving individual health and happiness.
  • Investment of $1 in ecosystem restoration returns between $10 to $36 in benefits to humans and wildlife.
  • Bottom-up organizing (when the voices of the community are considered before the voice of an external actor) has proven to be successful for implementing lasting transformative change in a community.
  • Working together to build a restorative economy, as opposed to one based solely on extraction (mining, oil and gas drilling, industrial agriculture etc.) is a long-term viable solution for ecosystem, community, family, and individual survival.

A rock crew building erosion control structures, re-attaching an incised streambed to its floodplain, which will retain water, return vegetation, provide habitat, and restore ecological and economic productivity. Photo courtesy Borderlands Restoration Network.

A tagged Monarch prepares to venture south from Maryland to Mexico by nectaring on a Maximillian Sunflower (Helianthus maxiilliani). Monarchs need fall nectar sources to survive their arduous migration. Photos courtesy of Chris Pupke.

Current Work of the Biophilia Foundation

The Biophilia Foundation supports a number of weavers who are re-connecting people with nature and making their communities more resilient and sustainable.

In Mexico, our partnership with the Cuenca Los Ojos Foundation is working to establish a native plant nursery to supply ongoing restoration of grasslands and previously denuded riparian areas.

Just across the border in Patagonia, Arizona we helped establish the Borderlands Restoration Network, which works with local communities, youth, and tribes to slow and capture water, re-attaching incised streams to their floodplains, critical in an arid landscape.

In the Chesapeake Bay Region, Biophilia’s work with Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage helps citizen scientists monitor the migration of Monarch butterflies.

Our support of the Wildlands Network helps to create and preserve migratory corridors for wildlife throughout the United States, while advocating for the passage of the “Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act of 2019”.

(Top photo)A large rock dam captures sediment, slowly repairing a riparian area that was lost due to overgrazing. (Bottom photo) By holding back sediment and water, restored riparian areas allow for vegetation, food, and habitat to return then wildlife start to repopulate the area. Work accomplished by Cuenca Los Ojos.

A diverse group of community members finding common purpose through sharing the hard work of watershed restoration. Photo courtesy Borderlands Restoration Network.

What You Can Do to Support Our Work


100% of your financial gift to Biophilia Foundation goes directly to support our partners working on the ground and with communities.


Share this page with your friends and family to alert them to this important work.

Post this page url in your facebook feed to share our story.

A beaver getting the work done.

Each donation made to Biophilia Foundation between now and the end of the year will support weavers

in the US and Mexico who are leading a grassroots transformative ecological movement. 

2019 marks Biophilia Foundation's 20th Anniversary.

It is our goal to raise $200,000

In addition to supporting transformative change within communities, with your help we can save red wolves in Eastern North Carolina,

reintroduce gray wolves in Western Colorado, restore wetlands to provide waterfowl habitat in the Chesapeake Bay region,

protect jaguar habitat in southern Arizona,

and so much more.

*What is a restoration economy?

The "restoration economy" refers to economic growth that's based on repurposing, renewing and reconnecting the natural, built and socioeconomic environments. The phrase gained popularity with the publication in 2002 of The Restoration Economy by Storm Cunningham..

On the natural resources side of the equation, the “restoration economy” refers to the employment, capital, resources, and economic activity that emerge from investments in ecological restoration, or “the process of assisting the recovery of an ecosystem that has been degraded, damaged, or destroyed.” [1] Restoration projects can include habitat enhancement, water quality improvement, invasive species removal, forest thinning for canopy diversification, or any other activity that aims to improve the natural function of an ecosystem. While investments in restoration benefit the environment, restoration projects also require workers, materials, and services to implement. The marketplace for these goods and services can create employment, spur business and workforce development, and increase activity in local economies. Activities that use byproducts of restoration work are also sometimes considered as part of the restoration economy; for example, the use of small trees and/or shrubs from forest diversification or thinning projects as biomass to produce heat or energy.