Reconnection Ecology

Reawakening our bond with all that is wild

A child crawls toward a puppy, inexorably drawn, and the puppy responds.

We go to the forest for solace, sensing the peace that resonates from a harmonious community of Life forms. We receive it.

Life recognizes Life.

Life exults in Life.

Connection with Life-any Life form-creates a glow. In that connection energy flows, and we are healed.

This is our inheritance-what we instinctively know. What helps us thrive. This is what we have been torn from as we live an increasingly soulless, frantic, man-made world. This is what we can and must return to.

An Invitation to Reconnection Ecology®

Many of us have had profound moments of connection with a non-human being. Reconnection Ecology® supports the importance of those experiences, helping to bring them to the forefront of our lives. Grounding us. Our reconnection can be at any emotional level, but the deeper it is, the more impact it has on transforming our lives towards a purposeful, joyful coexistence with nature.

Scientific objectivity is invaluable, but used alone, it can disconnect us from the wisdom and passion of our emotions. We need both to have a more complete understanding of how nature works. A one-sided view in either direction creates distortion. Without connection, through which flows information that is elemental, primal—a visceral knowing—we flounder. We make short-sighted environmental and technological decisions rather than decisions that enhance the long-term vitality of our Earth. We also miss the invitation to join with the joyous essence of this resonant web of life in which we are embedded.

“I think that we are conditioned to believe that animals are other, removed. That they are wild, that we need to keep our distance and that they need nothing from us. I have believed that for years. I felt that the most important thing I could do for animals was to leave them alone. But upon coming to Earthfire I found the most moving experience for me was their desire to connect – their insistence that they be met. That has changed everything for me.”

Terry Tempest Williams, author and Earthfire retreat leader

Earthfire Institute is the pioneer of Reconnection Ecology®, a framework which changes how we think about ecology and which can be applied by anyone, anywhere. It’s an invitation to ourselves to live in true companionship with nature, and then live our lives from a basis of connection.

At Earthfire, we do this by bringing people and rescued wildlife together intimately through onsite retreats, speaking engagements, online salons, and other media resources. The most powerful and transformational form of Reconnection Ecology® occurs when we adopt an intentional focus on deepening our relationships with individual animals and nature, which then drives behavioral and policy shifts needed to protect the environment. This approach toward conservation consists of three phases:

  • Reconnect: Immersive experiences with wildlife and nature
  • Trust: Recognize and accept the truth of these experiences
  • Act: Creative application of the new insights toward our personal life and public policy choices

“A different and stronger way to reconnect people with wildlife is illustrated by Earthfire Institute. Part of the strength of the Earthfire connection lies in the immersive experience where barriers between animals and wildlife are removed.”

Michael J. Bryant, Biologist/Statistician, Professor and Associate Dean at California Institute of the Arts

Experiencing Reconnection Ecology® at Earthfire Institute

Located within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and the Yellowstone to Yukon Wildlife Corridor, upon which countless species depend, Earthfire has lived the practice and witnessed the success of Reconnection Ecology for more than 20 years. The stories of Earthfire’s animals give voice to the voiceless and instill in us a sense of wonder, empathy, and belonging, driving us to act on behalf of all Life.

Through these profound moments of engagement with wildlife, we begin to see the individuality of each animal—which changes the way we think about the species. From there, we are opened to a new appreciation of the other living beings that form our community. It’s not necessary to come to Earthfire to have such experiences; nature is all around us. Earthfire’s framework of Reconnection Ecology® offers a path back to the heart of our wild home.

Earthfire’s Mission is to reawaken our deep connection to wildlife and nature through Reconnection Ecology®, expanding our sense of community to include all living beings and moving us to protect thriving habitats for all life.