Drone 3D Mapping & Design
Regenerative Agriculture Enterprise Budgeting
From Quarry to Food Forest, a pathway of Regeneration
From a sand mining operation to an integrated, regenerative food-system, to a model and partnership that may reach across the Caribbean.
In 2011, Ian McNeel, the owner of Walker’s Quarry, located in St. Andrews, Barbados, contacted TGI with a deep desire to rehabilitate the quarry far beyond what national and international mine reclamation standards require.
As a young child, McNeel saw the forest felled on site to access more sand. Since that time, he’s felt it was his responsibility to return the property to a thriving ecological condition.
A rich experience of regenerative landscape design
This journey is not only healing the landscape, but it is also changing how we perceive our environment, culture, history and possibilities.
The process of regeneration has been one that has transformed the landscape, but also transformed the people involved. In all our work at TGI we combine a deep developmental process for all stakeholders with a rich experience of regenerative landscape design.
This combination allows novel and innovative solutions to arise from the uniqueness of the people and place, as opposed to implementing predetermined solutions based on results somewhere else.
The process ensures that all of the stakeholders feel deeply connected to the decisions made on the land and we do our best to honor the strengths and utterly irreplaceable uniqueness of the place.
Over 100 Different Species
12 Planting Patterns & 52 Planting Plots
5+ Years Engagement
At Walkers Reserve, the planting process is lead by a cooperative group of experienced farmers working with local youth and international designers to achieve the multifaceted goals that address the holistic nature of a site rich with history and future possibility.
As part of the local planters training, McNeel asked Terra Genesis International to facilitate a certified permaculture design course. The course helped to facilitate a cohesive vision for the group and equipped them with a starting point of strategies and techniques. The crew has since then been encouraged to find their own techniques that fit the environment more adequately.
Walkers Reserve is actively returning quarried areas to ecological health as operations come to a close. The design that is guiding the transformation from quarry to food forest calls for the cultivation of a mixed used agroforestry site for short and long term yields as well as restoring native forest as habitat for threatened wildlife.
The regeneration plan stabilizes soil and shelters new growth from strong easterly winds and salt spray. Where there were once windswept dunes, now sheltered wetlands form a sanctuary for migratory birds, endemic amphibians and reptiles that are under pressure from habitat loss.
Walkers Reserve aims to restore living systems beyond the richness that was found prior to the quarry being established. Working directly with local farmers, pickers and community members, this burgeoning ecosystem rejuvenates Bajan food security, food culture and agro-ecological diversity by knitting the surrounding landscape and social systems together.
The transition from sand quarry operations to mixed agricultural and ecological land management provides an inspirational example of post-extraction ethics.
Looking forward: From one Sand Quarry to the Regeneration of the Caribbean
Out of the physical design work and the developmental work happening with the entire community that is Walker’s Reserve, some very interesting possibilities have emerged.
Terra Genesis International is now exploring the potential of working with a number of different groups associated with Walkers Reserve to form a partnership that would aim to bring the lessons learned from Walkers across the Caribbean.
This multi-stakeholder, multi-forms of capital engagement is just one of the ways that the regenerative development process is playing out.
“When we stop being so occupied with the problems that need solving and start focusing more of our attention on the potential in front of us, novel approaches present themselves.” ~ Christian Shearer
We want to thank Ian and Julie McNeel for their dedication to transformation, both internal and external. It’s an honor and pleasure for the TGI team to work with such passionate people.