Eco-Challenge Potluck, Sculpting with Cob, and Transition 2.0

March 16th 2018 5:30-8:30 1979 McKinley Ave Ypsilanti MI

Arrive at 5:30-5:45PM for the potluck. Bring your own dish to pass and the recipe for our community recipe book. We will invite you to get food at 5:45PM and will introduce the Eco-challenge topic before we transition to the workshop at 6:30pm.

**This is a family-friendly event – kid’s activity available during workshop.**

6:30 Sculpting With Cob and “Transition 2.0” movie night

Practice sculpting with cob

Curious about cob, but haven’t gotten to a full natural building class? Build a model house, or animal, or anything. Mostly self guided with some basic instruction.

“Transition 2.0”
A 1 hour film about the Transition Movement. A story of resilience and hope in turbulent times. This film looks at things that people from all over the world are doing to help preserve our planet.

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January 2018 Newsletter (Feb events!)

Click anywhere on the newsletter below to see a copy with interactive links!

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December 2017 Newsletter

Click anywhere on the newsletter below to see a copy with interactive links!

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December 20, 2017 · 10:39 am

Eco-Challenge Potluck & The Work That Reconnects Workshop plus Co-counseling

December 8th 5:308:30pm
1979 Mckinley, Ypsilanti, MI 48197
(Parking along the street and in the driveway)

Arrive at 5:30-6pm for the potluck. Bring your own dish to pass and the recipe for our community recipe book.

We will invite you to get food at 6pm. Until then, we’ll talk amongst ourselves about the Food Eco-Challenge. What conscious decisions do you make in your life to make low-impact, sustainable food choices? Did you try anything new since the last potluck?

We will reveal the next Eco-challenge topic before we transition to the workshop at 6:30pm.

**This is a family-friendly event – kid’s activity available during workshop.**

Workshop Description:

The Work That Reconnects – An intro to co-counseling and the practices of Joanna Macy.

How can we find the resilience and courage to face the challenges of these times? In this session, we will practice ways of releasing fear and anger and reconnecting to what sustains us. The first hour will be an introduction to co-counseling–a peer process for two or more people to heal past and present hurts, celebrate growth, and make intentional change.  The second hour starts with a brief introduction to eco-philosopher Joanna Macy and her “work that reconnects.” In simple paired conversations, we will share what is in our hearts about the state of our world.

Facilitator Bios:

  • Jeanne Mackey, MSW, is a lifelong musician, community-builder, and change-maker. She was on the organizing team of the first ReSkilling Festival in 2009.
  • Edi Estey is an Herbalist, educator, avid Co-counselor, nature enthusiast, and on the Ann Arbor Reskilling organizing team.

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Thanks for a great October event!

Thank you to all who made it out to the October Eco-challenge potluck and Earth-plastering skill-share!

This was the first event held in several months and it was wonderful to see so much interest in building the Reskilling community. Guests at the potluck learned about Reskilling’s origins from the Transition Movement and how Ann Arbor – Ypsi Reskilling promotes resilience and builds community.

Guests also learned about the Eco-Challenge and how Ann Arbor – Ypsi Reskilling will be using the challenge as a platform for fueling discussions about how we can make greener choices in our daily lives. (See more about the Eco-Challenge below!)

Basic earth-plastering using clay and straw was taught by Jacob Gnath, an intern of Deanne Bednar at the Strawbale Studio in Oxford, MI. He showed how to sift clay, what the correct ratios of sand-clay are for plastering, and how to apply the plaster over an existing surface.  Guests had a great time getting their hands dirty by helping transform a community space!
We look forward to seeing everyone on December 8th at our next event!


Strawbale Studio

Come learn sustainable living skills!   248-236-5432  Located outside Oxford, MI  ~1 hr N of Detroit. Enchanting thatched & living roofs, strawbale cottage, Hobbit Sauna, Earth Oven, Rocket Stoves  +  Group Discounts & some scholarships available. Hands-on Classes below!  Details at website.

Internship / Worktrade – April thru October & January

Come for a few weeks, or more. Live and work on site, participating in NATURAL BUILDING, sustainable activities & workshops during your stay.

December 9 & December 10, 2017  same class offered 2x! 
CANDLE-MAKING & Holiday Gift Class Enjoy the season by making dipped beeswax candles + other natural gifts. $30 early bird special*/$40 thereafter. Limit of 12. Register soon. 


**SCHEDULE a wksp / tour for your group

Ypsilanti Everything Is Free Faire

Ypsilanti Everything Is Free Faire joined us at our October event to share what they have been working on and how it pairs well with Reskilling!

Learn more about their human-directory project and their ambition to connect community members to share skills and services.

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Join Ann Arbor-Ypsi in the Eco-Challenge! – Oct. 11-25

Hi All,

You are invited and encouraged to join the Ann Arbor – Ypsi Reskilling Eco-Challenge team!

The Eco-Challenge is a two-week challenge that gives you the opportunity to work on one or more specific actions that will reduce your impact on the environment. The Eco-Challenge has categorized nine different areas of our lifestyles (see categories below), each of which has several specific actions to choose from. You pick your Challenge and set a goal that stretches your comfort zone and makes a difference for you, your community, and the planet. You can even “Create Your Own” challenge if you have a specific action in mind you’d like to work on to reduce your environmental impact!



Often times we might feel that our individual actions are so small they don’t make much of a difference. Join our team and see how just one group of committed individual’s collective action can make a huge difference!


How to join our team:

  1. Follow this link to the Ann Arbor – Ypsi Reskilling team page!

  2. Near the top of the page on the right, click on “JOIN THIS TEAM”

  3. Fill out form with your information to make your own profile.

  4. Once registered, browse the 9 categories & choose one or more actions to work on!

The Eco-Challenge kicks off on October 11th and lasts for 2 weeks. Be sure to log into your account each day of the challenge to track progress and accrue points!

Interested in the Eco-Challenge but unable to participate in the two-week October challenge? You’re in luck! We will be using the Eco-Challenge as a springboard for discussion and personal endeavors at our monthly potlucks.

All our best,
Ann Arbor-Ypsi Reskilling Organizing Team

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Ann Arbor – Ypsi ReSkilling: Eco-Challenge Potluck & Earth Plastering Basics

That’s right, we changed our name! We feel this new name reflects our view that community knows no borders.

Come learn more about how we plan to move forward in our community, enjoy good food and company, and participate in a natural building skill share workshop!

October 19th, 2017, 5:30pm-8:30pm
1979 Mckinley, Ypsilanti, MI 48197
(parking available on street or in the drive)

Families welcome!

* Please bring a dish to pass (don’t forget your serving spoon) and your own plate, eating utensils, and napkin.

** If you can, bring: Your dish’s recipe (we plan to compile a communal recipe book) & a musical instrument for a bonfire after the event.

Earth Plastering and Cob Basics

Get your hands dirty and help transform a community space by learning basic earth plastering using clay and straw. This two-hour workshop will be the start to transforming a garage into an eco-friendly community work and play space. Learn correct ratios of sand-clay for plastering, how to sift clay, and how to apply over an existing structure.

About the teacher: Jacob Gnath was an intern of Deanne Bednar at the Stawbale Studio in Oxford, MI.  He has 3 months of hands on experience working with natural building. He also loves to play music and wants to teach guitar.

(The event is being put on in cooperation with and featuring Ypsilanti Everything is Free Faire.)

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