Kate Bunney, Walking Water

The state of California is facing one of the worst droughts on record. Kate Bunney will be seeing the problem from the ground — following waterways from Mono Lake, through Owens Valley and into Los Angeles on foot —  to bring people together over the issue of water. Planned for next fall, the project, called Walking Water, will cover 350 miles and take about 40 days.

“The water situation in California is an example of unsustainable practices. The Pilgrimage aims to bring awareness to this and promote regenerative practices through an education program focusing on how to change our behavior in relation to water use, energy and food,” she said. “We will have a mobile kitchen with vegan food and the footprint of the Pilgrimage will be minimal. Carrying the issue of water in a way that promotes coherence and healing we are inspired to examine all elements connected to water – water connects all aspects of life.”

The core group of 20 pilgrims will meet with youth, activists, scholars and other community members during key junctures along the way. Walking Water has already built relationships with various groups across the area and is looking to help launch sister projects, alongside completing the pilgrimage.

The walk will follow “the way of council,” Kate said. “An ancient and modern practice of deep listening and speaking that contributes to community building, the sharing of story, the healing of differences and conflict.”

GRANT AWARD DATE: July 7, 2014