Wild Ideas

We plan to reschedule Wild Ideas for Farms and Forests for a later date. Thank you for your patience.


Share. Inspire. Get Wild.


Wild Ideas for Farms and Forests

March 12, 2020, 6:30 pm

NC Museum of Natural Sciences – Nature Research Center

TLC’s Wild Ideas series provides a dynamic venue for experts and the community to share innovative ideas to improve lives through conservation. At Wild Ideas for Farms and Forests on March 12, we’ll hear how local groups are building climate resilience and closing gaps in our food systems through meaningful actions.

Climate change may seem like an insurmountable problem, but at Wild Ideas for Farms and Forests we’ll explore how to address gaps in the local food system using regenerative farming practices to sequester carbon while supporting our local food scene and inspiring a love for the outdoors. Wild Ideas for Farms and Forests will also highlight the crucial work of partner organizations and community leaders who are working alongside one another to build thriving and healthy communities around the Triangle. We hope you’ll leave with wild ideas about how you can build climate resilience at home and work.

Among other things, at Wild Ideas for Farms and Forests guests will learn more about TLC’s Williamson Preserve, a mosaic of farm fields, forests, and streams just outside of Raleigh. The 405-acre Williamson Preserve, opening April 25, will host farmers, several unique ecosystems, and hiking and mountain biking trails that will connect to the Neuse River Greenway Trail, East Coast Greenway, and Mountains-to-Sea Trail.




Register below:



Anupama Joshi (Emcee), Executive Director of Blue Sky Funders Forum

Anupama Joshi is an accomplished leader in the non-profit and social sectors in the United States and abroad. She previously co-founded and was executive director of the National Farm to School Network, building a movement to incorporate local procurement, gardens and food and farm education in schools and early care sites across the United States. She is a firm believer in the power of networks and collaboration to enable lasting change, and has embodied that throughout her career. She is co-author of Food Justice (MIT Press, 2010), developed “Evaluation for Transformation” – a pioneering cross-sectoral framework for farm to school research and evaluation, and regularly speaks at national and international events. Anupama currently serves on the board of directors for the Farmers Market Coalition and provides mentorship to emerging leaders through the Community Food Systems Mentorship Program. She is a mom, loves to travel, and cook, and currently lives in Cary, North Carolina.

Eliza Lawdley, Farm Manager at Triangle Land Conservancy

Eliza is the Farm Manager at Bailey and Sarah Williamson Preserve, a role that weaves together cultural heritage, habitat restoration, local food systems, and regenerative farming. A Durham native, she has worked with a number of local agricultural organizations in the Triangle over the last decade including: Sol Food Mobile Farm, LoMo Market, Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, Bee Downtown, and the Hub Farm. She has also served as a member of the Durham Food and Farm Network (DFFN), the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA), a board member for the Durham Public School’s Hub Farm and a current member of the Capital Area Food Network (CAFN). Eliza is also the owner of Panther Creek Farm, a 28-acre agroforestry farm in east Durham County, that she has developed with her family since 2014. She is working on a master’s degree in Landscape Architecture at NC State University’s College of Design. 

Sarah Sanford, VA & NC Coordinator at East Coast Greenway Alliance

Based in Durham, NC, Sarah leads the development of the East Coast Greenway in the South Atlantic. Before coming to the Alliance, Sarah worked in the environmental field as a consultant, naturalist, and environmental educator. She holds a master’s degree in Environmental Management from Duke University and a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from the College of William and Mary. Sarah is passionate about connecting people to nature and she enjoys exploring the outdoors by bike, by boat, and on foot.

Delphine Sellars, Founder and Executive Director of Urban Community AgriNomics (UCAN)

Delphine Sellars is co-founder and Executive Director of UCAN (Urban Community AgriNomics). UCAN is a nonprofit which focuses on integrating agriculture into the wealth, health, and wellbeing of urban communities. In 2016 she retired as Director of the Durham Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension and Durham County Government departmental director. Prior to joining the Durham workforce, she served as Director of the Center for Employment Training (CET), an adult vocational education center; as a social worker focusing on youth; and Assistant Director of an adult nonviolence pre-release facility. Her undergraduate degree is from North Carolina Central University with a B.A. in social studies, and she has a master’s in organizational management from Pfeiffer University. Currently she serves on the boards of Durham Partnership for Children (DPFC), Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), and DOVE Institute.

Tessa Thraves, Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS)

Tessa’s passion for education, feminism, and anti-racism traces back to all she learned from her maternal grandmother, who earned a master’s degree in horticulture from Clemson University when it was still all men, and all white. When Tessa started teaching, she offered a service-learning project with Chauncey Spenser, one of the Tuskegee Airmen; he talked to her class mostly about his mama, Anne Spenser, her poetry, her civil rights work, and her gardening. Though 25 years ago, Tessa still remembers squatting in front of a garden bed with her hands in the soil, students brand new to gardening on either side of her, thinking this is “it.” So after a 12-year career in teaching literature, oral history, and folklore, Tessa began work at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems in NC in 2007 on community-based food systems. The community-based work grew into a youth focus quickly, and then honed into farm to school, and always her work has been rooted in racial equity. She co-founded CEFS’ Food Youth Initiative, in partnership with multiple grassroots organizations, to support youth leadership in NC, especially those from communities most adversely impacted by inequities, and is also one of the many founders of the Farm to School Coalition of NC. For seven years she and an NC4H colleague cohosted FoodCorps NC, and she currently serves as the North Carolina core partner for the National Farm to School Network. She also helps organize and train for CEFS’ Committee on Racial Equity (CORE) which does racial equity in food systems trainings, but more importantly strives for systems impact and use of an equity lens across local foods work. In her free time, Tessa can be found planting pollinators with her wife, caring for critters, inoculating mushrooms everywhereor making up songs and cooking for the wee ones in their life. 

Van Nolintha, Co-Founder of Bida Manda and Brewery Bhavana

Vansana Nolintha, a native of Luang Prabang, Laos, is the co-founder of Bida Manda and Brewery Bhavana in Raleigh. Even though Van is deeply invested in the hospitality industry, his journey to Bida Manda and Brewery Bhavana is anything but traditional. Van studied Chemistry, Art and Design, and World Religious Studies at NC State University with the hope to become a physician. After many service-learning experiences in more than 30 countries, Van switched his path entirely and continued his academic journey to Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, to study International Peace and Conflict Resolution. At the age of 25, Van returned to Raleigh at the peak of the recession and took another dramatic turn as he opened one of the first Laotian Restaurants in the country in the Moore Square District of downtown Raleigh. Over the past five years, Bida Manda has become more than a busy restaurant; it is a community gathering place focusing on many social issues ranging from adult addiction to homelessness and immigration. 



Thank you to our sponsors!

Rocky Top Catering


Past Events

Wild Ideas for Getting Outside, May 8th, 2019

Wild Ideas for Tomorrow, Today, December 5th, 2018

Wild Ideas for Clean Creeks, March 20th, 2018

Wild Ideas for Walnut Hill, November 14th, 2017

Wild Ideas for Clean Water, June 27th, 2017

Wild Ideas for Getting Outside, March 7th, 2017

Wild Ideas for Farms and Food, October 11, 2016.

Wild Ideas for Birds and Bees, June 22nd, 2016.

Wild Ideas for Getting Outside, March 9th, 2016

Wild Ideas for Clean Water, June 2015

Wild Ideas for Getting Outside, March 3rd, 2015

Wild Ideas for Feeding the Triangle, October 22nd, 2016

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