To bring about a world of informed, motivated people committed to caring for the Earth "as a communion of subjects rather than a collection of objects," as emphasized by Thomas Berry.
The Center for Human-Earth Restoration actually started in 2010 as the neophyte idea of Ross and Randy who both realized a pressing human need for ways to reconnect with nature and renew inner spirits. They met attending classes at the Center for Imagination, Education and the Natural World located in Wittsett, NC under the guidance of Carolyn Toben and Peggy Whalen-Levitt. There they both became captivated with the messages of Thomas Berry and both felt the need to share these messages with others. Thus was the Center for Human-Earth Restoration brought to fruition by Randy Senzig, Ross Andrews, and Iris Senzig around the kitchen table in 2010 - a 501c(3) corporation to convey the importance of "treating the Earth as a communion of subjects, rather than a collection of objects" as taught by their mentor Thomas Berry. They immediately began formulating the first program called CORES (Character Growth Through Observation, Restoration Ecology and Scientific Principles) and formed a partnership with the Triangle Land Conservancy (TLC). CORES provided 68 eighth graders with weekly field trips to a TLC site where observation skills, restoration skills and reflection was taught. That year over 70 garbage bags of invasive Japanese honeysuckle were removed to release the native spring wildflowers in the floodplain. Developing CORES led naturally to the umbrella organization CHER in 2011, with the goal of connecting all students in the Wake County School System with TLC properties near their campuses. Randy Senzig, NC Environmental Science Teacher of the Year, and Ross Andrews, a master environmental scientist and educator, taught many programs together related to CHER’s mission. Chief Operating Officer, Iris, maintained logistical office operations. Today, Randy and his staff continue educating with witty fervor, enthusiasm and an expert level of knowledge that gains the respect of their students. The CHER classes and programs are designed to help all young people and adults reconnect with the Earth. The techniques used include: Restoration Projects, Nature-themed Games, Expeditions, and Exercises in Reflection and Journaling, which lead to a transformative renewal of the inner spirit.
1. The work of noted eco-theologian Thomas Berry, renowned scientist George Washington Carver, and noted conservationist Aldo Leopold, must be carried forth into the future. 2. The human spirit needs a deeper relationship with the environment to fully realize the human potential. 3. The human-earth relationship is innately fundamental to human well-being and must be protected and nurtured. 4. All children and adults can benefit from learning about their world through hands-on activities. 5. Teachers need engaging means of helping students develop an understanding of scientific principles. 6. Through ecosystem restoration projects, humans will find inner restoration with all relationships. 7. Personal involvement in such activities will motivate student’s creativity and imagination, impart critical thinking skills, and ultimately enhance character traits.
Recognitions and Achievements
In 2018, we received the Raleigh Environmental Stewardship Award. In 2018, we also received the Fred Fletcher Outstanding Volunteer Award. In 2016, we received the John Chavis Community Legacy Award. In 2015, we received the Soil and Water Conservation Society Merit Award. In 2014, we received the Wake Soil and Water Conservation District Community Conservation Award.