By Mark Stemen
What happens when a professor takes the notion of restoration as ritual seriously and tries it out with his class?
I am a professor at California State University, Chico where I have been teaching environmental studies for the past fifteen years. I will have anywhere between 90 to 130 students each semester running through my general education classes, where they learn all the things one ought to know about the current state of the environment. Class can get pretty depressing. To counter the gloom, I seek to create courses where students can step out of the darkness of the classroom and do something positive in their community. One such course, focused on civic engagement, uses student elections to change campus culture. In the case of my course on ecology and restoration, I created a class that uses rituals to restore people’s relationship to the land as well as the landscape.
In 2001, I was given the opportunity to be the Field Manager for a 93-acre ecological preserve on an old mining quarry located south of Chico, CA in Butte Creek Canyon. At the same time, I inherited a Caltrans-funded restoration project to plant 1000 trees on the preserve. The project was a form of compensation, or mitigation, for cutting down some oak trees as Caltrans widened the nearby highway. I had planted trees with students before, and I knew it was a very positive experience for all involved. Planting trees on the preserve became the principal restoration activity of the class, an activity I eventually ritualized.
The first iterations of the restoration course had nothing to do with rituals. Even as I began to incorporate them into class material, there was little method to my madness. Rather, the restoration rituals developed organically as the students and I applied ideas from course readings to a specific spot on the landscape. At the same time, we wrestled with the very concept of restoration and the preceding environmental damage or alteration it implies, a reality that made ritualizing the restoration effort seem not only effective but necessary to change the way people treat the landscapes they inhabit.
I selected Paul Gobster and Bruce Hull’s, Restoring Nature: Perspectives from the Social Sciences and Humanities as my primary text for the course. Gobster and Hull center their work on the Chicago restoration controversy of the mid-1990s in hopes of “enlighten[ing] the philosophical and conceptual issues underlying the source of the conflicts behind restored landscapes.” At the heart of the dispute lay different conceptions of “restoration”. For the biologists, restoration meant returning the landscape to “pre-contact conditions” by removing exotic plant species and replacing them with natives. The divisions outlined in the texts again played out among my students: some saw nature as what was lost; others saw it as what was alive now. Still others saw it as what it could be, with a little help. So contested was the definition of nature that students soon feared using the “n-word,” as it came to be known, in class at all.
But it wasn’t long before our focus shifted to perhaps a more pressing concern at the heart of our studies. In their collection, Gobster and Hull include three essays on “the moral and ethical questions behind restoration,” including a debate on the controversies surrounding mitigation restoration. In his contribution, Eric Katz calls restoration “The Big Lie,” and argues against the idea that the destruction of one landscape can be compensated for by restoration of another landscape of purportedly “equal value.” In other words, Katz argued that the trees we were planting at the preserve did not “mitigate” the fact that trees were cut down elsewhere. Reading these essays added a new tinge of discomfort to our work at the preserve. Restoration, we realized, was often used as a justification for new destruction. If you claim you can fix anything (like our pile of rocks) that doesn’t necessarily justify breaking it in the first place.
The debates around restored landscapes and the growing unease they inspired became acute when the preserve accepted another mitigation project. As we read further about mitigation restoration, it became clear that restored landscapes are never as rich as ones we destroy. More importantly, from a big-picture perspective, it became equally obvious that there was no way the restoration described in our readings could outpace the destruction we were seeing around us. We found ourselves confronted with the ugly underbelly of mitigation restoration: it is always preceded by destruction.
After three years of teaching the course, I found that the dissonance generated by mitigation restoration was too much to bear. I had to change direction. I moved away from abstract ideas of nature and started thinking about a specific restoration experience that might actually alter values so people would stop engaging in the very activities that made restoration necessary. To have full value, restoration had to be about more than just the landscape. Restoration also had to change the people doing the work. Fortunately, an essay in Restoring Nature hinted at a direction. In his contribution, “Restoration, Community and Wilderness,” Bill Jordan writes that if we want “community—and communion—with nature,” restoration “provides a way of achieving it.” I started thinking about how I could structure a restoration experience to make it focus more on individual change with the promise of community impact.
My efforts took a major leap forward with the publication of Jordan’s The Sunflower Forest: Ecological Restoration and the New Communion with Nature. In his book, Jordan continues to develop his theme that restoration’s most important contribution may be in the social realm. He writes, “[c]rucially, what really needs to be renewed is not the landscape at all, but the human community’s idea of the landscape, on which the well-being of the landscape ultimately depends.” Jordan argues that restoration projects too often focus on their effects on the landscape, while ignoring what he calls the “inner results.” In Sunflower Forest, he asks readers how we might use “restoration as context for negotiating the relationship between humans and the rest of nature.” Confident in the course’s new direction, I set out to create a restoration experience that might be expected to transform the restorationist as much as (or more than) the landscape. I mean, how hard could that be?
For Jordan, one step in building a relationship with nature is “the work of perceiving—of listening, watching, feeling, smelling and touching to discover exactly how the other lives.” Attempting to capture this experience, I started encouraging the students to slow down and pay attention to the landscape while working at the preserve. What bugs did they see? What flowers were in bloom? I stopped renting the gas-powered auger we were using to dig holes and instead gave the students hand tools in order to bring them closer to the land they intended to restore. When it came to planting, I had them slow down and focus on the seed or sprout to the exclusion of all else.
This was easy enough. So, I also asked students to remain silent while we were working to further sever their connections to elsewhere. While I was pleased to see students interacting and becoming friends out on our site, the constant chatting seemed distracting, always pulling them back to the lives I hoped they would change. Unfortunately, I came off as punitive, the students resisted, and mutual frustration mounted. Silence wasn’t working, and the benefits of such a reflective activity were initially lost. Students may have walked away from the exercise with somewhat heightened awareness of their surroundings, but the experience was by no means transformative. Despite my intentions, the superficial tone and content of their weekly reflections lead me to doubt that I was truly changing their behavior. The students left the preserve and went back to their daily lives unaffected. Something was missing.
In The Sunflower Forest, Jordan suggests that, “the work of restoration offers a suitable occasion for the invention of rituals of relationship with nature.” He claims that “at the deepest level, ritual offers the only means we have of transcending, criticizing, or revising a morality or ethical formulation prescribed by authority or handed down by tradition.” Most importantly, ritual is the way humans “generate, recreate, and renew transcendent values.”
Jordan concludes that,
“the best restoration projects, those that result in the highest quality ecosystems with the best chance of surviving over a long period of time, are those carried out by people who have a chance to develop a close attachment to and an intimate understanding of the landscape through direct participation in the work. Best and most promising of all are those projects in which this work has been ritualized to some extent.”
Reading this, I wondered whether ritual might be the missing element. But what is ritual, and how would I ritualize a restoration project?
Since the environment depends in the long run on the people who inhabit it, I knew the act of restoration had to help people change their current behavior and transition to a more sustainable lifestyle. Such a feat is no small matter. It was a gamble, but rather than cut my losses, I doubled down. The potential payoff was worth the risk. I began to study deeply, beginning with the endnotes in Sunflower Forest. When my chair offered me the opportunity to teach a graduate seminar, I chose ritual and restoration as the topic. I presented this idea to a group of colleagues at a campus anthropology colloquium to test out some initial ideas, and I quickly learned that all cultures perform rituals to help people make difficult transitions in life. Coming of age, marriage, and loss of a loved one are universal examples of transitions that use rituals to help people through a process of change. All sources suggested that if I wanted to take the concept of restoration rituals further, I should look deeply at the work of anthropologist Roy Rappaport.
In his book Ritual and Religion in the Making of Humanity, Rappaport writes succinctly: “Ritual denotes the performance of a more or less invariant sequence of formal acts and utterances not entirely encoded by the performers.” In other words, a ritual needs to be “performed” for it to be ritual. Rituals also conform to an established form that does not vary, and while rituals can serve a purpose, they are not seen only as practical efforts. Most importantly for my purposes, individuals do not create their own rituals. For Rappaport, one reason rituals are able to help people make difficult transitions is that performers of rituals must willing relinquish their own will and “follow, more or less punctiliously, orders established or taken to have been established, by others.”
Weddings are an example of a ritual my students could relate to since many had attended or were starting to attend them. Every culture has wedding rituals. They differ in expression, but all share the same goal: the rituals are meant to help negotiate that emotionally awkward transition from individual to couple. For example, a typical American wedding ritual consists of a series of prescribed activities the couple performs—taking vows in the presence of others, exchanging rings, giving and receiving gifts—and at the end of the ritual, everyone feels different. The two individuals see themselves, and are seen by others, as one. The experience is transformative.
I was determined to bring the transformative power of ritual into my restoration course. But if rituals are “prescribed by others,” how does one create them? A book I found helpful in creating new rituals at the preserve was Ronald Grimes’s Deeply into the Bone: Re-inventing Rites of Passage. Grimes recounts the various inquiries he has received about creating rituals such as naming ceremonies and cross-cultural weddings. He also gave me much needed confidence when he wrote, “[t]he aim of re-inventing or constructing rites is bold, some might say arrogant. But without constant reinvention, we court disorientation.” If Grimes could create a ritual for celebrating menopause, I could create a ritual around restoration.
Grimes writes that rituals are more than simple activities where participants get “carried away emotionally, only to be returned to their original condition” at the end of the day. My observations from previous classes confirmed this. For Grimes, rituals “are stylized and condensed actions intended to acknowledge or effect a transformation.” They are intended to “carry us from here to there in such a way that we are unable to return to square one. Unstructured activities such as my tree planting might “move, but they do not transform.” Transformation was the effect I was looking for, but how to create it?
First, I had to find a way of introducing the ritual to the class. This proved deceptively easy. I began to have students perform ritual work at the preserve without calling the activities rituals. Rather, I made no mention of the ritual at all. We don’t call weddings “marriage rituals.” We just call them weddings. I simply introduced our rituals as “the way we do things here.” But in the spirit of ritualism, I made sure to deliver exactly the same instruction every time.
In her article, Little Hut on the Prairie: The Ritual Uses of Restoration, Ann Cline considers the Japanese tea ceremony as a model for the ritualization of activities like restoration. Cline emphasizes that rituals take a lot of time, and that is one of the reasons why people in a hurry tend to be impatient with them. The tea ceremony is all about slowing down; far more attention is paid to preparing the tea than actually drinking it. Multi-tasking is absent; each act is completed one step at a time. The slowness is deliberate, as the time spent is the most important feature of the ceremony. As Cline explains, “tinkering with awareness is the goal of ritual, ecological or other.” In other words, the process is more important than the product.
Aiming for the awareness one achieves in a Japanese tea ceremony, I looked for activities we were already “performing” at the preserve and purposefully extended them. I started by being more deliberate in our activities. I separated out the routine tasks—weeding, digging, planting, mulching, etc. —into distinct activities instead of trying to complete them simultaneously. Rather than go about things in the most “efficient” manner, we paused between activities. We let things take time.
Jordan offers Midwestern prairie burns as an especially striking opportunity for the ritualization of restoration.” Carrying out prescribed burns to remove the exotic grasses and make room for native plants requires large, coordinated groups, and the flames add a dramatic quality to the exercise. But the residents living near the preserve insisted that we adopt a no–burning policy. Seed gathering and propagation is another activity ripe for ritualization. But, except for acorns, we did not engage in seed gathering because of the lack of mature seed-bearing species at the preserve. Planting was an activity we were already engaged in, however, and one that offers a clear opportunity for ritual, given its repetitive nature. Restoration planting is also loaded with “invariant sequences of acts…not entirely encoded by the performers”. Volunteers are told to plant this plant here, and plant that plant there, and to make sure the hole is this deep, etc. It is easy to imagine the supervising biologist as a priest when he or she says something like “don’t move forward to the next stage until you get my blessing.” Thus planting became the occasion for our first official restoration ritual, inspired by the course readings.
In Second Nature, Michael Pollan shares a maxim from horticulture, that “it is better to put a fifty-cent plant in a five-dollar hole than a five-dollar plant in a fifty-cent hole.” I started to play with the slogan on our site, urging my students on to grander and grander holes. A shortage of plant material one weekend allowed the students to focus even more on each individual seedling and the place it would call home. In time, digging “five-dollar holes” became an unspoken “ritual” at the preserve.
A rite of passage
For the most part, digging five-dollar holes meant removing rocks and adding compost. We were planting on a highly disturbed site; all the “dirt” was gone, and what was left was a pile of rocks, flattened and smoothed over to make housing pads. The houses never happened, and now we were trying to make the rocky ground support vegetation. A five-dollar hole was at minimum two feet wide and two feet deep. Many were larger, since digging meant removing rocks and some rocks were quite formidable. In the course of a four-hour workday, students would, on average, dig just one or maybe two holes. In short, digging a “five-dollar hole” took time, and each hole was hard work.
We framed digging a five-dollar-hole as a way of giving back. In Jordan’s words, “[i]t was an expressive act” that affirmed “our membership in the land community.” The implication was that we belong in this community, and perhaps on this planet. Digging a five-dollar hole eventually became a rite of passage for many of my students and as the years passed the ritual became one of the most revered and transformative acts performed on the site. The ultimate expression of this came from Max, a student who, with his shoulder-length hair and full beard, coincidently looked a lot like Jesus. The preferred tool for “digging” a five-dollar hole was a three–foot–long metal pry–bar that one could use to work the rocks free from the soil and each other. Max declared in the morning circle that he would “use no steel” to dig his hole. I gathered that he was looking for a more intimate connection with the earth. He used only his hands and a stick he found lying nearby to dig his hole. He only dug one hole that day, but it was a grand hole. It was a transformative hole.
In addition to bringing the students literally closer to the land we wanted to restore, digging a five-dollar hole gave participants plenty of time to think. When I asked my students to write on what, besides blisters, they thought about when digging, they gave me two basic answers. Digging a five-dollar hole gave them time to think about nothing and time to think about everything. First, digging a five-dollar hole got them close to the ground and gave them time to reflect on the needs of the plant. In that sense, digging a five-dollar hole is a very mindful activity. One can pay attention to the needs of another and nothing else. Such attention is needed when considering how important a hole is for the plant it inhabits. We have a saying at the preserve; call it a mantra: “To a plant, hole is fate.” Where its planted, and the hole it is planted in, largely determine whether the plant survives and thrives. This is why I ask my students to imagine their hand as a root. Pulling rocks out with their bare hands, they could literally feel the needs of the tree roots in their fingertips.
Second, digging a five-dollar hole also gave students time to reflect on the larger issues facing our world. Most of our plantings were part of mitigation efforts. As I mentioned, this one in particular had us plant oak trees for Caltrans to compensate for, or mitigate the loss of trees the agency cut down to widen the nearby highway and make room for more cars. Participants had time to think about what they were doing, but also about how they could make changes in their own lives in ways that would make mitigation unnecessary. Carpooling, for example, rose throughout the semester: While almost all students drove to the preserve alone at the start of the semester, virtually no one did so by the end. It was an expected development, as students wrestled during the course of the semester with driving to a preserve to plant trees as compensation for those cut in order to widen the highway so more people could drive to places, like the preserve, to plant trees.
Five-dollar holes were the primary ritual we performed at the preserve, but many others were performed during the day. The graduate seminar eventually developed and scripted a formalized “planting festival” where students step into the ritualized space that the preserve had become, making a sort of pilgrimage rather than taking a tour. At a typical restoration event, organizers need to pass along information to the participants at the start of a workday. To help people leave their metaphorical bags at the gate, I formalized/ritualized our start by getting everyone in a circle. Before explaining the day’s itinerary, we went around the circle saying our names and describing our favorite place in nature. The idea was to connect what we were doing that day at the preserve with a place we already loved and would hate to see destroyed, even if it were “mitigated.” I then described the day’s itinerary of tree planting with that notion firmly in their minds.
I led a tour of the preserve following the orientation. As we wound our way over the dredger tailings, the students would observe the destruction first hand. The center of the property had been excavated to a depth of twenty feet and stripped of sand and gravel. Exotic species had moved in to occupy the disturbed land. On the edges, however, a slender ribbon of trees had been retained to serve as a screen for the road and surrounding houses. In that buffer, “nature” had survived. A graduate student surveying the property discovered a two-hundred-year-old valley oak (Quercus lobata) surrounded by three younger, eighty-year-old progeny. She named them Abuela and her daughters. Students would collect the grandmother’s acorns in the late summer, to be used in the fall plantings. The tour ended at the site of previous plantings. Not only did the sight of young trees inspire the students in their own efforts, but seeing years of previous plantings subtly reinforced the moral authority behind our rituals. Clearly, “the way we do things here” was working.
We were using ritual to take a bunch of strangers and bring them together. We extended this process to every activity we performed at the preserve. Our workday went from 10am to 2pm, so people needed to eat. Early on, people brought their own lunch and often ate alone or in pairs. We ritualized lunch by asking people in advance to bring a vegetable that they would like to eat in soup. At the opening circle, we passed around a pot and asked people to add their item as we told the story of stone soup. We cooked the vegetables (and spices) while people worked. After they finished their five-dollar holes, everyone gathered together to eat the same meal, cooked and served from a common pot. We arranged seating in small groups to give everyone an opportunity to talk about what they were experiencing. With so much in common, we found that conversation flowed easily.
Following lunch, students got to plant their acorns in their five-dollar holes. They first mixed compost with the remnants of native soil in their holes and added tablets of mycorrhizal fungi to aid in root development. Again, I encouraged the students to slow down and spend time focusing on the needs of another creature. After planting six to eight acorns and covering them with soil, the students added lupine seeds to the top. The lupine plants would shade the acorns and hide the tender shoots from migrating deer. After they had covered their planting site with mulch, I encouraged the students to sit in silence and contemplate what they had done.
We ritualized the restoration process by having the students again go silent, but only while they planted their oaks. Going silent for a shorter period got students out of their comfort zone and the normal way they related to the world, while also allowing them to engage in the camaraderie that often developed in the process of excavating a five-dollar hole. Having turned what had felt like a punitive moment into a ritual, almost an element in a liturgy, I no longer received pushback from students. It is incredibly discomforting for some people to stop talking and be left with their own thoughts even briefly, or to share a common meal with strangers. Yet the ritualistic nature of these acts seemed to make both activities easier for the students. And sure enough, we found that planting in silence better allowed students to transition their thinking, as was reflected in both written and verbal comments made about the activity. We complemented reflective time by talking about the need for tree planting and some of the reasons why so many trees get cut down.
After planting, mulching and reflecting, everyone returned to the circle for a closing event. We asked people to comment on their experience of the day, and describe any new personal decisions they may have made while working. Many would offer to change a behavior, and we know from research (and weddings) that the strongest commitments are those made publicly in front of witnesses. To have students make public statements to change their behavior for the sake of nature was the conclusion, and in a way even the denouement, of a successful day at the preserve.
Through discussions in the graduate seminar, I learned that one of the most important lessons students took away from the course, both through the readings and their own experience at the preserve, was how difficult it is to break old habits and form new ones. Deep in our daily patterns, we have a hard time seeing how we can do things differently. People also bring “mental baggage” with them when they come to the preserve: appointments, due dates, lingering arguments, etc. Rituals force people to act in prescribed ways, and relinquishing control can provide them the space they need to get out of these ruts. Rituals disrupt routines, and free from the confines of habit, people can more easily change direction.
I believe five-dollar holes were effective in changing behavior because they fit Rappaport’s model for rituals. For one thing, digging is performative. The rules for digging were “encoded” by the staff and, the performance was “formal and invariant.” Participants were instructed to dig, plant, and mulch, in that order, and with time in between. There was also a bit of formality in digging such a large hole for such a small acorn. At 2’x2’x2’, the holes were much bigger than necessary for a few acorns, but the large amount of amended, rock-free soil would help the seedling get a much stronger start than it would have had we left the area to its own in the existing thin, stony soil. Thus our ritual digging, which was executed with purposeful inefficiency so as to bring about greater awareness in the students, had very practical consequences for the trees we planted.
I believe these rituals had a comparable influence on the students who performed them. I could see inner results manifesting in external behavior, a fact they themselves confirmed in their weekly class journal entries. To be clear, my experiment with ritualizing the course had always been informal. I wasn’t testing competing ideas about restoration and keeping detailed records of comparative effectiveness; I was simply looking for something that worked. I gauged the success of the activities by students’ weekly written reflections and their comments in class. I also observed their general behavior in the classroom and out on the preserve as we progressed through the semester. As I noted earlier, I saw carpooling increase, and the reasons were clear. As one student wrote in his course journal, “The very road I drove on was the reason I went out to plant trees in the first place. It made me think of the simple changes that I, and all of us, could make that would leave this earth . . . a habitable place for all species on earth.”
To be honest, not everything we tried was successful and not everyone was transformed by the experience. Some were just annoyed. One student wrote, “I am glad the class ended after the circle. I could not take anymore ‘love’ after it.” Despite the changes, some still “did not connect with the quiet time” while others had a “hard time relating restoration to ritual.” For them, restoration “felt a lot like doing yard work.” Some of the activities we tried were quickly discarded. A rock painting exercise intended to give students a token to remember the moment came off as childish. A student in the graduate seminar wrote a “Turning Song” with a catchy tune and simple lyrics. But Compulsory singing was rejected even quicker than compulsory silence.
The majority of students who participated in our restoration rituals, however, reported being influenced to some degree, ranging from the very general—“personal growth”—to changes in outlook that will “last the rest of my life.” One student wrote, “[i]t was as if I was glowing afterwards.” Others described the experience as “magical” or “spiritual.” The day gave one student “a sense of belongingness to, not only this area but also, the earth itself.” Another commented that, while digging with others, “I realized that we were participating in something bigger, something bigger than just planting.” Sometimes the change was lighter, as one student noted: “[w]hen I was reflecting after planting our tree, a cricket jumped on my leg. I thought about pushing it off, because I really don’t like bugs, but I hesitated. I was in this bug’s home.”
Reading these reflections, I realized that the rituals were having an effect. Sometimes the comments connected the ritual and the intended effect directly. One student wrote of the opening circle “ritual” where students told everyone their “favorite place in nature”: “it got me to think about how great these places are and the importance they have to everyone. I have so many memories in nature that are so meaningful to me that it would kill me not to have these places to take my children and continue with the memories.” At other times ritual’s effect was more elusive; one student wrote “[t]here was something special about the experience. I can’t quite put my finger on it. I just know that it was a valuable experience and I took a lot away from it.” Another described the day metaphorically, describing how the experience allowed people to “slide out “ of their “comfortable, self-imposed boundaries, those side boards we build for ourselves throughout our hurried and hectic lives” to allow for reflection on how they could live more sustainably.
Most importantly, many students wrote explicitly of that transformative experience I was searching for. One wrote in her reflection, “I feel my priorities have changed this semester. I think differently and I am concerned about different issues.” Many described the day as a “turning point.” One felt the course had “inspired and encouraged people to be more involved in their communities and to be more involved with their surrounding environments.” One summed up the feelings of many when they wrote, “[r]estoration day inspired me to make a change in my life to make a difference.”
Creating rituals around restoration turned out to be harder than I imagined, but the resulting transformations the rituals effected in my students were all I had hoped for. The class moved beyond restoring landscapes. It became a way to create a new kind of healthy interaction between human beings and the rest of nature, a way to complement our healthy trees with our newly engaged minds. Students left the course with a much broader understanding of restoration and its role in larger society. They also left with a sense of accomplishment and a new (or renewed) commitment to living more gracious and sustainable lifestyles.
 Paul H. Gobster and R. Bruce Hull, Eds., Restoring Nature: Perspectives from the Social Sciences and Humanities, Washington, D.C: Island Press, 2000.
The other initial text for the course was A. Dwight Baldwin Jr., Judith DeLuce, and Carl Pletsch, eds. Beyond Preservation: Restoring and Inventing Landscapes, Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1994.
 William R. Jordan III, “Restoration, Community, and Wilderness,” in Gobster and Hull, Restoring Nature, p. 26
 William R. Jordan III, The Sunflower Forest: Ecological Restoration and the New Communion with Nature, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2003.
 Jordan, The Sunflower Forest, p. 75
 Jordan, The Sunflower Forest, pp. 163 & 198.
 See Lily Kong, “Mapping ‘New’ Geographies of Religion: Politics and Poetics in Modernity,” Progress in Human Geography 25, no.2 (2001): 211-33; Lisa Meekison and Eric Higgs, “The Rites of Spring (and other seasons): The Ritualizing of Restoration,” Restoration and Management Notes 16, no.1 (1998): 73-81; Tom Driver, The Magic of Ritual: Our Need for Liberating Rites that Transform Our Lives and Our Communities, San Francisco, CA: Harper, 1991
 Roy A. Rappaport, “The Obvious Aspects of Ritual,” in Ecology, Meaning and Religion, Berkeley: North America Books, 1979, p. 175. See also Roy A. Rappaport, Ritual and Religion in the Making of Humanity, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999
 Ronald Grimes, Deeply into the Bone: Re-Inventing Rites of Passage, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2000, p. 6.
 Grimes, Deeply into the Bone, pp. 6-7
Ann Cline, “The Little Hut on the Prairie: The Ritual Use of Restoration,” in Baldwin, De Luce, and Pletsch, eds. Beyond Preservation, p. 216
 Jordan, Sunflower Forest, p. 190. See also Karen M. Holland, “Restoration Rituals: Transforming Workday Tasks into Inspirational Rites,” Restoration and Management Notes 12, no. 2, 1994, pp. 121-25.
 Michael Pollan, Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education, New York, NY: Dell Publishing, 1991.
 Jordan, Sunflower Forest: Ecological Restoration as the Basis for a New Environmental Paradigm, in Baldwin Jr., DeLuce, and Pletsch, eds. Beyond Preservation p. 28
 The story of Stone Soup can be found at http://www.stonesoup.com/the-original-stone-soup-story/
 Journals on file with author
Mark Stemen is an associate professor in the Geography and Planning Department at California State University at Chico.