Black Earth Restoration Collective

  • Black Earth Restoration Collective (BERC) is a collective of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) working closely with plants.

  • We chose to include “Black” in the name to celebrate Blackness and Brownness, and to ensure our collective’s mission to celebrate and uphold BIPOC is clear. We use “Earth” to acknowledge our diverse connections to land. We chose to call this a collective because we aim to create a living, breathing community for BIPOC to engage, discuss, support, collaborate, celebrate, and offer opportunities to connect online and in-person.

  • We take a respectful approach to engagement and use transparency to the collective that maintains members’ agency by making collective decisions and discussions on (e.g., information usage and sharing, and collaboration.

  • BERC welcomes white allies who will respectfully engage in community.


This work was conducted on the ancestral homelands of the Council of Three Fires: the Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi tribes. We share and celebrate the historic and contemporary ties of local Indigenous people as well as acknowledge the labour and knowledge of Black and Latine people who have shaped land and restoration here.


BERC is a project of the Synthesis Center for Conservation and Restoration (sCORE) of the Chicago Botanic Garden.