Founders: Initiating Group

Top row: Travis Puglisi, Rev. Lynn Reese, Jill Giegerich. Bottom row: Karen Tracy, Stacy Doolittle.

In the fall of 2010, artist/activist Jill Giegerich returned to her home in Joshua Tree after spending two weeks on a permaculture farm in France. Evenings there were spent drinking wine, sitting around a campfire with the farm owners and learning new things — including hearing about the international Transition movement.

Jill, a passionate believer in taking action, was ignited by the Transition idea, believing it to be a model that would work in the high desert. She told some friends in Joshua Tree. They ignited. Together they hosted an evening where they pitched the idea to the local community. The audience ignited.

The founders of Transition Joshua Tree — born Oct 3, 2010 — were: Jill, Stacy Doolittle (tech wiz/strategic development), Karen Tracy (longtime resident and ace community organizer), Gregory Glenn (green builder and innovator), Rev. Lynn Reese (US Navy – retired and Methodist Church minister, who came on shortly after Glenn departed) and Travis Puglisi (visionary renaissance man and magic event planner). Together they formed the Transition Joshua Tree Initiating Group (IG), one of the first 100 “Transition Towns” groups formed in the United States, and one lauded nationally for its best practices. Other local residents generously stepped forward over those years to contribute to the IG: Ted Milson, Buck Buckley, and Janet Tucker.

This volunteer team met every week and organized almost monthly events to build community involvement. It was hard but extremely rewarding work setting up resources and tools for individuals, working teams” which formed to educate themselves on specific areas of concern (like water!!), and to address changes necessary within our community to bring us out of the age of the depletion of resources into an age of regeneration of our ecosystems. The IG stewarded the formation of TJT until a membership-elected Coordinating Council took the organization forward in late 2013, and built it into the present model of community resilience based on the principles of permaculture. Eight years later and Transition Joshua Tree is still igniting residents and making a difference in Joshua Tree!