Making Connections Through Links

"On the Commons" is a network of citizens and organizations exploring new ways to achieve social justice, environmental harmony and democratic participation at all levels of society. Their work ranges from introducing innovative public policies and economic initiatives to supporting grassroots local action. Their website is a treasure trove of resources.


The Ecology Center: Located in Berkeley, the EC has been a major source of information and catalyst for environmental activism since its founding in 1969. It promotes environmentally and socially responsible practices through its management of Berkeley's curbside recycling and farmers' markets, a diverse array of demonstration projects, an information hotline, store, and library. It serves as an incubator and fiscal sponsor for local grassroots projects. Linn served on its board for several years during the 1990s.


Berkeley EcoHouse: In 1999, Linn collaborated with community and environmental activists, city officials and other supporters to acquire a small house that had come up for sale adjacent to the Karl Linn Community Garden. EcoHouse was established as a model of ecological construction and renovation and served as an incubator for educational projects, including a solar energy education project that serves Berkeley schools. In 2007 it became a project of the Ecology Center.


Berkeley Community Gardening Collaborative: This clearinghouse of resources and support for local community gardens, school gardens, and youth training gardens, brings together diverse members of the community around a common commitment to urban agriculture and access to healthy food for all. Linn cofounded the group in 1995 and continued to serve on its steering committee.


Community Built Association: CBA formed in 1989 to support and promote the practice of involving volunteers in the design, organization, and creation of community projects that reshape the physical environment. Members include architects, artists, playground and landscape desiginers, and community workers. Linn was delighted to meet and join these kindred spirits in the mid-1990s. He presented his work at their 1996 and 1998 conferences and served on the board for a time. CBA honored him posthumously at their 2008 conference with the first Jim Jolley award (in honor of one of their founding members), which was accepted by Linn's wife, Nicole.


American Community Gardening Association: Founded in 1979 to help gardening programs share resources, experience, and expertise, the organization now publishes bulletins and newsletters, supports the formation of national and regional community gardening networks, and encourages research on the impact of community greening. Linn gave the keynote address for the group's annual conferences in 2001 and 2002.


Berkeley Partners for Parks: This citywide nonprofit, devoted to supporting parks and open space in Berkeley through encouraging citizen involvement, served as fiscal agent for the commons projects Linn inspired in the Westbrae neighborhood. Linn was an active member, who held key positions in the organization.


American Society of Landscape Architects: Linn joined ASLA in the 1956 when he gave up his landscape contracting business and began what became a prestigious private practice in landscape architecture. He an active member throughout his career, and was honored as an ASLA Fellow in 1999. helping plan conferences, leading workshops, and advocating for social responsibility and peacemaking as essential to the future of the profession. He became an ASLA fellow in 1999.


Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility: ADPSR has been working for disarmament, protection of the natural and built environment, and socially responsible development since its founding in 1981. A co-founder, Linn gave up his tenured professorship at New Jersey Institute of Technology to chair ADPSR's Education Committee, working with students to organize gatherings where they could face the threat of nuclear holocaust and subsequently work to design peace gardens, peace parks, and other places for peacemaking.


Urban Habitat Program: In 1989 Linn teamed up with his old friend and colleague Carl Anthony, African-American architect and activist, and a diverse group of Bay Area African-American leaders to start Urban Habitat, with the mission of developing multicultural urban environmental leadership. Linn, who had volunteered for a year at Earth Island Institute,convinced EII founder David Brower to include inner-cities in his vision of environmental restoration. EII provided initial sponsorship for Urban Habitat.


Jewish-Palestinian Dialogue Group: Linn was actively involved in the East Bay branch of this group, which began meeting in 1998, to engage Arabs and Jews in dialogue with the goal of promoting understanding and solidarity for a just settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"Building Commons and Community"

New Village Press