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Center for Holistic Ecology
Center for Holistic Ecology
Last updated:
P.O. Box 451, Hohenwald, Tennessee, US
Climate zone:
Warm Temperate

Amber Shannon Colin Boggess Eden Gal Hans Remmen Jennifer Dauksha English Michael Bennett Patrick Gibbs Rae Fuller Samuel Foose Sara McDonald Vic Gaffney
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Center for Holistic Ecology

Project Type

Urban, Rural, Intentional Communities, Community, Demonstration, Educational, Permaculture Local Group/Transition Town/Permablitz

Project Summary

The Center for Holistic Ecology (CHE) developed to integrate all life systems: self, social and ecological. Our activities and programs counter global climate change and the energy crisis by supporting the vibrancy and health of our regional economy, communities, and environment. To accomplish this, we bring together networks of people, resources, services and organizations. Additionally, we provide educational opportunities to help people integrate holistic, ecologically-based practices into their lives, businesses, and organizations.

Project Description

The Center for Holistic Ecology's (CHE) greatest impact occurs through its education and networking efforts. Since June 2007 CHE has collaborated with 12 other organizations to educate over 5000 individuals about the energy crisis and climate change, while providing a range of potential solutions such as local economic and cooperative development; lifestyle simplification; and use of appropriate technologies.



CHE Programs

CHE offers a comprehensive set of workshops, tours, events and conferences,  providing valuable knowledge and tools related to regenerative and ecological design strategies you can apply in your home, your backyard, your business, or your community. CHE has many active projects: Gaia Southeast, The Green Living Journal, Greener Tennessee, Greener Nashville, The Financial Permaculture Institute and Transiton Hohenwald.


Gaia Southeast

Gaia Southeast is the the first U.S.-based Regional Center of Gaia University, a decentralized action-learning University offering Degrees in the fields of earth and cultural regeneration. As an affiliate of Gaia University, Gaia Southeast helps engage people in strategic action learning with both a local and global impact. The programs help action-learners design their learning pathways and projects to empower regenerative action for self, community, ecology and sustainable economics, while validating their work by receiving accredited Bachelor and Master of Science Degrees and Postgraduate Diplomas through peer reviewed project and process based documentation. Associate may specialize in Regenerative Entrepreneurship, Participatory Design, Applied Permaculture Design or Open Topic.


The Tennessee Cumberland Green Network (TCGN) was initiated by CHE in 2007, to combine forces with other green visionaries from multiple areas of expertise and industry across the Middle Tennessee bioregion. It's main outcomes have been the creation of the Green Living Journal, Greener Tennessee, Greener Nashville, and in hosting the 2008 Summit for a Sustainable TN, in partnership with the TN Environmental Council and TN Conservation Voters. 

Green Living JournalThe Green Living Journal of  Tennessee is an eco-solution based journal that highlights solutions for green development in the area and shares local success stories from those living and teaching others to live green lifestyles.

The Green Living Journal is a collaborative project between Center for Holistic Ecology and the Cumberland Green Bioregional Council.
The Green Living Journal features articles about the environment and community and is published digitally and in print.

Greener Tennessee was built to provide a resource for Tennesseans in an effort to make the state a sustainable environment. The idea is to have all the resources to make sustainable lifestyle choices in one place.  The site houses Tennessee environmental resources and links, green business, job postings, blogs, tools/tips, and everything sustainable in Tennessee and the surrounding Cumberland Bio-region. You can also drill down to your local Greener city site. This is a project of CHE, the Cumberland Green Bioregional Council and IDesign, Inc.

Greener Nashville

Greener Nashville is a one-stop resource for sustainable living in Middle Tennessee. Started in early 2007, the campaign focuses on the vast number of Nashville residents, as well as the surrounding counties, that are looking for sustainable resources in their everyday lives. This is a project of CHE and IDesign, Inc.









The Local Economic Development and Green Education Initiative (LEDGE) was initiated by a partnership between CHE and the Gloabl Vilage Institute for Appropriate Technology, in 2007 to help build the economy of the Middle Tennessee region through development of regional networks of small-scale local and green businesses and organizations, wherein members are provided with resource and information sharing tools, amplified marketing and fundraising opportunities, and specialized training opportunities to increase their effectiveness as social and environmental entrepreneurs. The primary outcomes of LEDGE have been the development of the Financial Permaculture Institute, the Sonnenschein Green Initiative and Transition Hohenwald, which became the 25th Transition Town in the USA.



Financial Permaculture Institute


The Financial Permaculture Initiative based in Hohenwald Tennessee is intended to help create a local participatory design for green businesses that can address the needs of the local community in a sustainable manner.  The hope of the Financial Permaculture Institute is that this initiative can become a template for other initiatives, network with other existing movements and initiatives and add new voices and wisdom to the collective and cooperative movement towards a regenerative human community.

Trasistion Hohenwald, the 25th Transition Town in the USA, was born out of a local green initiative called Sonnenschein.  In the Spring of 2008, Sonnenschein's Trasiiton Intiative created a Transiton Proclamation that was signed by the local city, county and chamber.  The group Sonnenschein began in 2006 and has hosted three green power festivals, a Sustainability Forum, multiple tours of alternative homes, an alternative vehicle exposition, a green building tradeshow, eco-film series, business luncheons, and much more! In 2009 Sonnenschein became the Sonnenschein Green Initiative as a project of CHE.  At this time the group began hosting a monthly Green Evening Cafe with a local Green Business awarded each month (March-October),  annual local food cook-offs, has broke ground on a community garden, and had a summer intership program called Permayouth.


 Seven Sisters


CHE created this Seven Sisters program in 2006 to empower women with tools, inspiration, financial resources, networking opportunities, and a venue to showcase their creative vision and accomplishments in service to our precious home planet. In 2009 the project implemented a Women in Art Intiative, which showcased women who were financialy viable and sucessful artisits that took a green/natural slat to their art. These women thorugh our project, were featerued on an affiliate public TV show.


Trees for Tennessee

Trees for Tennessee was created by CHE in 2004 and has the following three goals: Land and Resource Protection, Education, and Consumer Advocacy.  Trees for Tennessee acts to counter the effect of forest depletion and resulting climate change through restorative tree planting projects. While solely planting trees will not halt global warming, it will help to rebalance self-regulating earth systems, which have been so greatly impacted by modern culture’s excesses. Trees for Tennessee has been inactive since 2008 due to lack of funding. There are plans to reactivate this initiative in the near future.

Climate Action Now


This project developed in 2004.  We held a Climate Action Rally in 2006 and did several film series in 2006-2008 to educate people on Climate Change.  This project has been inactive since 2008 due to lack of funding. There are plans to reactivate this initiative in the near future.



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