Luz O’Leary, Permaculture Treasure Hunt Project

By Youth Development Hub Member Susan Silber who has chosen to support this work with a flow fund grant

Lucy O’Leary (Luz) is a community organizer and youth environmental educator. Luz has had a dream for many years of organizing an eco-social justice permaculture-themed scavenger hunt that would bring youth and residents in the community into a new, more magical mode of relating to the city environment. The Creative Liberation Network had separately had a vision of the same type of journey involving their tarot deck, which is a fantastic fusion of People Of Color community resiliency, queer ethics, permaculture principles, and Indigenous spirituality.

Luz and The Creative Liberation Network will use this seed funding to initiate a pilot design project, with youth taking the lead role on the design team, of a permanent scavenger/treasure hunt in Oakland for members of the East Bay community to explore themes of eco-social justice and spirituality.

This project invites community into dialogue and action around a number of questions: How can Oakland communities at risk of displacement uncover the resilience and resources of their surroundings? According to the principles of permaculture, “growth happens at the edges.” How can we learn and grow collectively in Oakland’s edge zones, where newly encroaching capitalist development juts up against the rich cultural history of the city and its people? What is the magic of displacement in the form of new energy, perspectives and opportunities for creativity?

The vision of the project is to support folks in exploring local landmarks, green/open space, and history in a magical adventure, with clues at every turn. CLN seeks to build off of emerging research showing that youth learn well through games and play—and capitalizing on the energy of alternate reality fads such as Pokémon Go—to engage people in new and innovative ways in the movement to care for and honor the Earth.