“Responsible Entrepreneurs are a rare but growing breed” B. Kimmel
Ian McNeel is a social entrepreneur, impact investor, permaculturalist and responsible business leader. Always challenging the limits of what’s possible, Ian is leveraging his 21 years as an entrepreneur and successful international business executive to lead the transition of Walker’s Sand Quarry into Walker’s Reserve. In 2011, his family history on Barbados combined with a lifelong passion for environmental stewardship, culture and agriculture, led to the co-founding of Slow Food Barbados. Slow Food Barbados is helping to facilitate a reconnection to “good, clean and fair” food on the Island. Through Ian’s leadership, Walkers Reserve also strives for food security, resource protection and climate resilience for the Island and the Caribbean region.
Julie Hooper McNeel is a professional health and wellness coach, culinary enthusiast and organic gardener. After living and working in Miami, Julie now calls Barbados home. Her kitchen overflows with farm fresh foods and delicious live food concoctions. As director of Community Outreach and Education for Slow Food Barbados, Julie is leading the school garden program and other community outreach initiatives. Julie brings her background in holistic nutrition, yoga and organic gardening to the McNeel family and the Walkers Regeneration Project.
Ian and Julie are active members of the Barbados community. By sponsoring permaculture design courses, installing school gardens and working with the community to regenerate the quarry, they are actively engaged with the social, economic and environmental systems in the St. Andrew Parrish and Barbados. Both Ian and Julie are philanthropic, volunteering their time and support in community service projects, non-profit organizations and school garden projects. They are passionate about the local food movement, the arts, natural health and environmental awareness.
Terra Genesis International, LLC
Terra Genesis (TGI) focuses on high impact projects that achieve landscape-scale regeneration and address the transition of core industry and business activity from degenerative models based on resource extraction to regenerative models based on cultivating living systems.
Terra Genesis International is a permaculture design firm with global reach and vision. TGI embodies the belief that humans can meet our needs for thriving local and global culture while increasing ecosystem health. Permaculture, Holistic Resource Management, and Keyline Design form the core techniques used by the team of seasoned consultants. Alongside thought and action leadership for global regeneration, TGI firmly believes and supports simple living and a humble culture of lifelong learning and growth. In addition to working with the mining industry, Terra Genesis has a strong regenerative enterprise focus, helps responsible corporations to create pathways towards regeneration through supply-chain focused application of permaculture principles and pathways.
Gregory Landua and Christain Shearer are the Terra Genesis International Design leads for the Walkers Regeneration Project. They are supported by an amazing team including Erle Rahaman-Noronha, designer and site manager and Brecht Deriemaeker, website architect.
The Regeneration Crew
Erle Rahaman-Noronha is a Kenyan born resident of Trinidad. He lived in Canada and now resides in Trinidad where he is restoring a former citrus estate through permaculture regeneration.
Erle teaches and practices Permaculture, producing indigenous food crops, tropical fish and cut flowers on his farm which has won Agricultural Entrepreneur awards for forestry, aquaculture and horticulture.
Rahaman-Noronha holds a BSc in Applied Biochemistry and a MSc in Zoology from the University of Guelph. He was trained in Permaculture Design, Intensive Aquaculture, Dendrology and Tropical Landscaping. As a photographer, Rahaman-Noronha captures and shares the natural beauty that he helps to protect. On Jouvert morning, however, he is usually on the other side of the camera, as a subject covered in paint. He is also an accomplished adventure racer and ultra-marathoner. From Nairobi to Caroni, he is a trail-blazer in the field of Permaculture which he refers to as “the quiet revolution that is happening”.
Erle’s plays a key role in the Walkers Regeneration Project. He is taking the pattern level of the design and implementing it in the ever-shifting sands of an active quarry. Erle will be onsite managing earthworks and plantings along side John Hunte and the amazing crew.
The most important element of all in this project is the regeneration crew doing their work by collecting seeds, propagating trees, maintaining a nursery, surveying the contours and planting hundreds of thousands of individual plants.
The crew is made up of a talented group of locals who come from the local parish of St. Andrew or are part of the Organic Growers Association on the island.
Walkers Reserve actively contributes to the success of the Organic Growers through a number of initiatives, and the relationship with the regeneration project grew out of that collaboration.
Part of the Walkers Permaculture Regeneration Project was to host a Permaculture Design Course to train up 20 Bajans working with food or conservation. The collaboration between Walkers Reserve and the Barbados Soil Conservation Unit was a great success, and in the process trained up the whole regeneration team in permaculture design.
Because of this training in permaculture design, the team on the ground is given the freedom and responsibility to make adjustments and refinements to the implementation of the regeneration plan. This collaborative mentality has lead to great improvements in the execution of the plan and the inclusion of local species that were unknown to the designers.
Without the tireless efforts of this team, this project would only be theoretical.