Friday, 16 May 2014

About The Community Resilience Challenge
by Daily Acts:

The Community Resilience Challenge (the Challenge) is a collaboration of non-profits, municipalities, businesses and individuals working together to bring awareness to the need for community-based local solutions to the pivotal issues facing our planet, from our drought to food insecurity to climate change.

Together we are creating a more resilient local food system, economy, and community while reducing our use of water and energy.

During the month of May and culminating in an inspiring weekend of action on May 17th and 18th, Challenge participants are playing their part to Save Water, Grow Food, Conserve Energy and Build Community.

Participants register their action pledges online and all actions are aggregated on a map to build a picture of the growing resilience movement.

The Challenge is a program of Daily Acts, whose mission is to transform our communities through inspired action and education that builds leadership and local self-reliance. Learn more about us here.

The 2014 Challenge (formerly known as the 350 Home & Garden Challenge) marks Daily Acts’ 5 years of engaging individuals, schools, organizations, municipalities and businesses to take practical action for a more healthy, just and resilient future.

The Challenge is a great way to demonstrate your commitment to sustainability and community, as well as to engage others in this movement.

When you register your actions today, you’ll be helping us get closer to our goal of 3,500 actions for Sonoma County, and 6,500 total actions across the United States. In addition to helping us reach our goal, you’ll be joining thousands of other participants who are creating more connected, vibrant and resilient households, neighborhoods, towns and cities.

Check out our Tools to access outreach materials and information, and help spread the word! Below are answers to some of the frequently asked questions about the Challenge, but please don’t hesitate to email us at if you have other questions.

Daily Acts is ready to help YOU make a lasting impact this May and beyond - one that will strengthen and enrich our communities and local economy. Thank you for rising to the Challenge.

Frequently Asked Questions:
What is the Community Resilience Challenge?

The Community Resilience Challenge (the Challenge) is a free, fun, sustainability program that encourages people to pledge to take action to Save Water, Grow Food, Conserve Energy and Build Community.

Participants register their pledges online and all actions are aggregated on a map to build a picture of the growing resilience movement. The Challenge will culminate with an awe-inspiring weekend of activities on May 17 and 18, 2014.

The success of the Challenge will be determined by our collective capacity to inspire individuals and groups to register their actions.

All actions registered will count toward our 2014 goal of inspiring 3,500 actions for Sonoma County and 6,500 total actions across the United States in collaboration with our partner organizations Transition US, Sustainable Contra Costa, Marin Garden Challenge, and Victory Garden Foundation.

What is the history of the Community Resilience Challenge?

In 2010, the first 350 Garden Challenge was launched with the goal of creating and/or retrofitting 350 gardens in a single weekend. The Challenge was an overwhelming success and resulted in 628 garden actions being taken including both the creation of new gardens, as well as the expansion of existing gardens.

In 2011, the Challenge was expanded to include other actions (in addition to installing gardens) and a whopping 1,044 home and garden actions were registered. In 2012 and the 2013, the number of actions grew exponentially (2,300 and 3,558 actions respectively) with other groups such as Transition US and Sustainable Contra Costa successfully replicating the Challenge in other communities.

For 2014, we have set our sights on registering 3,500 actions, engaging 1,200 individuals and 20 businesses.

We have also changed the name to the Community Resilience Challenge to more accurately reflect the spirit of the event and the breadth of ways to get involved. The event will be replicated on a local, regional and national scale in collaboration with our partner organizations.

Beyond Sonoma County

We didn’t know when we started that the Challenge would inspire creative action from other organizations too! In 2012 Sustainable Contra Costa held a Challenge of their own and had 997 registered actions. In 2013, they registered 2,000 from all across the East Bay region of San Francisco!

Today, we’re seeing the ripple of the Challenge beyond our Sonoma County borders and both regional and national Challenges are underway with partners such as Transition US and others.

Interested in implementing a Challenge in your community? Email us to get the conversation going at

What is “Resilience”?

In short, when faced with adversity, resilience is the ability to adapt and spring back, be it a person, a community, an economy or an ecosystem. Given the urgency of California’s worst drought on record and a growing confluence of social and environmental challenges, now is the time to act.

Communities are at risk of running out of water, farms have had water allocations cut off and ten times the normal number of wildfires were recorded in California in January.

The growing resilience movement utilizes local networks of people, information and resources to create solutions that address our modern day challenges.  

Together we can adapt and spring forward by catalyzing significant action towards becoming more food, water and energy independent, and building our communities stronger, healthier, more beautiful and resilient!

What does a resilient community look like?

The Challenge’s four themes (Save Water, Grow Food, Conserve Energy, and Build Community) are the pillars of resilient communities.

For example, when faced with drought, resilient communities will have access to water from rain catchment systems and will be irrigating with greywater from showers and washing machines.

A resilient community will be able to feed itself and its members will have access to fresh, local and chemical-free foods produced by workers that are paid a fair, living wage.

A resilient community will generate energy from alternative sources such as sun, wind and hydro and supports neighborhood and local groups through a web of connection that strengthens and builds community during both prosperous and challenging times.

I already live sustainably, why would I sign up to take the Challenge?

There are a number of fantastic reasons why you would take the Challenge pledge even if you’re a seasoned sustainability aficionado!
  • When you sign up you’ll be joining thousands of others who are also taking action. Our collective effort makes our work visible and engages others in transforming our communities to make them more resilient.
  • It’s free and encourages you to do things that might not get done otherwise. When you sign up, you might even decide to do some things that you haven’t thought of before!
  • If you live in Sonoma County, you’ll have access to special incentives donated by locally owned businesses for the purpose of helping you reach your goals.
  • You’ll help Daily Acts reach our Sonoma County goal of 3,500 actions and our national goal of 6,500 actions. Reaching our goal paints an inspiring story of resilience that we can use to inspire individuals, municipalities, businesses, and organizations in creating healthier, resilient communities everywhere.

Do I have to live in Sonoma County to participate in the Challenge and take advantage of the incentives program?

No and yes ... in collaboration with our partners you can register for the Challenge from anywhere in the United States! However, you have to be a resident of Sonoma County to receive Sonoma County incentives.

When you register make sure to check the box next to the organization that best represents you. If you live in Sonoma County make sure to check the Daily Acts box!

The box you check will determine which organization you receive information from. After you register you receive a list of incentives via email. If you have any questions about registration and incentives, just email us at

I’m a local business and would like to help promote the Challenge and/or provide an incentive. How do I participate?

Please email us at and we’ll set you up! Additionally, you can view our Business Toolkit for more ideas on how to engage your company and your customers in the Challenge.

Why the name change?

The new name makes the Challenge more comprehensive, relevant and replicable while more deeply embodying the bold and inspired spirit that the event has always encouraged. Through its community-based approach and by offering a diversity of solutions, the Challenge is inclusive of the many sustainability collaborators that are taking this movement to the next level.

If I can’t complete my action(s) on the weekend of May 17th & 18th do they still count?

Absolutely! The weekend is an opportunity to build enthusiasm, integrate actions, and bolster cooperative efforts, but actions completed outside of the weekend also count.

Ideally, the Challenge is a catalyst for habitual behavior change, prompting permanent positive upgrades to your life going forward - undertake your actions when it works best for you but make sure you register for the Challenge by May 31st so that your actions can be counted!  Registration is now open!

If the goal is 3,500 actions, how are “actions” counted?

When you register for the Challenge, you register your action(s) and then each individual action is counted toward the goal of 3,500 actions.

For example, if you plant a garden as your action you wouldn’t count each plant planted as an action, but if you plant a garden and also install drip irrigation (or fix-up old, leaky drip-irrigation), make sure to register both actions separately (plant a garden and install drip irrigation). Integrating multiple actions into one big project is encouraged and we want to be sure that all your actions are counted!!

How do you measure success?

After the Challenge wraps up, we’ll report back on the total number of people that registered for the Challenge, as well as the total number of actions registered. For our Challenge Business Partners and Challenge Sponsors, we’ll analyze data specific to each partner or sponsor and will compile reports for them to share with their employees and customers.

We'll also be quantifying actions in relation to each theme such as gallons of water saved, amount of energy conserved, number of fruit trees planted, square feet of turf transformed, etc.

While the annual Challenge and its outcomes alone are inspiring, our dream is that this initiative becomes a positive catalyst that will transform participants’ relationship to water, energy, food and community throughout the entire year. After all, daily acts do matter and they really do add up!

Do I have to supply my own materials?

Yes. You will need to supply all the materials required to complete your actions or project. We are actively working with our sponsors and local business community to provide incentives to Challenge participants and will be notifying registrants via email as soon as these become available.

We highly encourage you to support local hardware stores, nurseries and purchase heirloom seeds and organic plants whenever possible.

Who do I contact for advice and project guidance?

If you can’t find what you’re looking for on the Challenge Toolkit or Resources pages, please contact us and we’ll work to help out!

Can I engage others in joining the Challenge?

Yes! By becoming a Resilience Organizer, you can engage your community by organizing a local project, by getting people to sign up for the Challenge, by helping us distribute outreach materials or by tabling at local events to promote the Challenge. We would be thrilled to work with you to make an even bigger impact this year! Please email for more information.

What if I don’t have a project in mind? Can I volunteer on a project?

Yes, we will be posting a list of community projects that are looking for volunteers on the Challenge home page.

Can I contribute financially to the Challenge?

Yes, please! Donations make the Community Resilience Challenge possible. Just click on the Donate button to support this great event.

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