Another Recommended Book: Growing America by David A. Kidd

Growing America: The Story of a Grassroots Activist, A Call for Renewed Civic Action, by David A. Kidd, “The Tree Man”

If you think one person can’t make a difference in the world read this book. David A. Kidd is personally responsible for reforesting his Ohio county; he organized a massive community effort that planted three million trees over a ten-year period, involving thousands of people in the process.

Kidd is an unlikely activist: a very ordinary guy with mainstream tastes and interests who served in Vietnam and had a spiritual transformation there. Kidd’s decision to renounce violence in all forms and devote his life to a higher purpose began there with a conversion to vegetarianism. Over his next several decades, he first brought an Eastern spiritual movement to his Ohio community. Later, he started the county-wide tree movement, then was hired to oversee Ohio’s state reforestation program. Eventually, he moved to animal rights activism, putting his own body on the line to stop a particularly brutal hunting event, several years in a row.

Because he doesn’t come out of an activist background, Kidd’s organizing methods are creative and unorthodox; he gets the tree project moving through schools, churches, and especially Rotary clubs, and understands intuitively how to get buy-in from all the key players so the projects are adopted and followed through, and how to successfully motivate both aid and volunteer helpers. His formal study of organizing came later, after he was already up and running with the tree project.

Essentially, he has created a blueprint for organizing around any issue where there’s pretty much a community-wide consensus supporting the project goals.

It would never have occurred to me to do a community organizing project through Rotary, so perhaps my biggest takeaway is to think about different audiences and how to reach them. Environmental work crosses many demographics, as I learned with my own most successful organizing project, Save The Mountain–the only time I’ve ever been involved in a movement with a near-complete community consensus.

This is a timely book for me to read, as I contemplate creating the<a href=””>International Association of Earth-Conscious Marketers</a>. an international trade association for Green marketers

Available directly from the publisher, Lantern Books, at <a href=”″></a>. Not showing up on Amazon (and his website seems to be gone), but well worth tracking down.

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