Initial announcement from Planet Drum

Judy Goldhaft and Peter Berg

On the morning of Thursday, July 28th, Planet Drum Foundation’s founder, Peter Berg, breathed his last. His life-partner, Judy, and daughter, Ocean, were with him. In many ways his death was too soon and unexpected.  Now he has joined the electric pulse of the planet; he exists in the earth and sky, water and wind, and in our hearts and memories. Look for him in the glittering sparkles of sunlight, in the stars at night, and in all the beauty of Pachamama which he so loved.

Peter was a clear-seeing, passionate, visionary activist, analyzing all aspects of human species interactions and following through his ideas with action. Prior to his bioregional work, he participated in early civil rights action and theater; wrote, directed, produced, and acted in plays for the SF Mime Troupe; and formulated theory and actions with the Diggers in San Francisco, writing ecstatic prose/poetry manifestos.

Peter founded Planet Drum Foundation in 1973, and continued as its director for 38 years. The originator of the term “bioregion” and concept of “reinhabitation,” Peter was a noted ecologist, author and speaker. According to Gary Snyder, Peter’s work and Planet Drum’s newsletter Raise the Stakes were “of immeasurable importance in defining and disseminating the ideas and possibilities of bioregionalism.” Works include extraordinarily innovative revegetation and green city projects both locally and abroad, which directly manifest his vision of ecological and cultural sustainability. “Throughout his long career he stayed with living right in San Francisco and in word and deed was a proponent of a non-dualistic urban/hinterland view of bioregionalism. Peter was a unique and cranky figure,” — Gary Snyder.

Peter’s books include: Envisioning Sustainability, Discovering Your Life-Place:  A First Bioregional Workbook, A Green City Program for the San Francisco Bay Area and Beyond, Figures of Regulation: Guides for Re-Balancing Society with the Biosphere, and Reinhabiting a Separate Country: A Bioregional Anthology of Northern California. Articles and interviews with him have been published internationally, and he has done presentations and workshops at events, conferences, schools/universities, etc. worldwide.

No one will be able to replace his presence, but Planet Drum Foundation will continue. In his last months, Peter laid the groundwork to ensure that the Foundation would carry the bioregional legacy into the future. As part of this effort, Peter and his brother established the Eliot and Peter Berg Endowment Fund.

“We didn’t play it for the Big Time. We didn’t play it for the Small Time. We played it for the Real Time”– Peter Berg 7/24/11

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4 Responses to Initial announcement from Planet Drum

  1. Susan spisso says:

    Peter and Judy changed my life forever . Judy is my family, always .. Peter was a tough but always fair man who always said, “Why? What are you doing now?” Thank you Peter Berg for giving and loving Judy she always knew you were magic,hard to hold but worth the ride.
    Love peace. Susan Basser Spisso.

  2. Cam Walker says:

    Terribly sorry to hear this news, several months after Peter’s passing. Peter leaves a wonderful legacy because of his decades of work as an advocate for place-centred thinking and living. He helped frame the concepts that drive and underpin many movements that are thriving around the world today, and which have enriched so many lives and projects. Thanks for your inspiration, Peter, and go well.
    Best wishes to Judy.
    Cam Walker
    Castlemaine, Australia

  3. Planet Drum Staff says:

    Three more places that the initial announcement was posted online are:

    Tribe.net–under “Bioregional Animism”
    http://tribes.tribe.net/bioregionalanimism/thread/b080f530-45e3-4abc-8fc1-b1cc17af60d0

    and

    Women Environmental Artists Directory—weadartists.org
    http://weadartists.org/peter-berg-10137-72811

    and

    http://ronmader.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/bioregion/

  4. Planet Drum Staff says:

    The initial announcement was reprinted online by CT Environmental Headlines at:
    http://environmentalheadlines.com/ct/2011/08/03/obituary-peter-berg-oct-1-1937-july-28-2011/
    Note that at the bottom are comments.

    Obituary: Peter Berg Oct. 1, 1937 — July 28, 2011
    Aug 3rd, 2011 | By Environmental Headlines — CT environmental news | Category: Featured Story

    Peter Stephen Berg — October 1, 1937 — July 28, 2011

    On the morning of Thursday, July 28, Planet Drum Foundation’s founder, Peter Berg, breathed his last. His life-partner, Judy, and daughter, Ocean, were with him. In many ways his death was too soon and unexpected. Now he has joined the electric pulse of the planet; he exists in the earth and sky, water and wind, and in our hearts and memories. Look for him in the glittering sparkles of sunlight, in the stars at night, and in all the beauty of Pachamama which he so loved.

    Peter was a clear-seeing, passionate, visionary activist, analyzing all aspects of human species interactions and following through his ideas with action. Prior to his bioregional work, he participated in early civil rights action and theater; wrote, directed, produced, and acted in plays for the SF Mime Troupe; and formulated theory and actions with the Diggers in San Francisco, writing ecstatic prose/poetry manifestos.

    Peter founded Planet Drum Foundation in 1973, and continued as its director for 38 years. The originator of the term “bioregion” and concept of “reinhabitation,” Peter was a noted ecologist, author and speaker. According to Gary Snyder, Peter’s work and Planet Drum’s newsletter Raise the Stakes were “of immeasurable importance in defining and disseminating the ideas and possibilities of bioregionalism.” Works include extraordinarily innovative revegetation and green city projects both locally and abroad, which directly manifest his vision of ecological and cultural sustainability. “Throughout his long career he stayed with living right in San Francisco and in word and deed was a proponent of a non-dualistic urban/hinterland view of bioregionalism. Peter was a unique and cranky figure.” — Gary Snyder.

    Peter’s books include: Envisioning Sustainability, Discovering Your Life-Place: A First Bioregional Workbook, A Green City Program for the San Francisco Bay Area and Beyond, Figures of Regulation: Guides for Re-Balancing Society with the Biosphere, and Reinhabiting a Separate Country: A Bioregional Anthology of Northern California. Articles and interviews with him have been published internationally, and he has done presentations and workshops at events, conferences, schools/universities, etc. worldwide.

    No one will be able to replace his presence, but Planet Drum Foundation will continue. In his last months, Peter laid the groundwork to ensure that the Foundation would carry the bioregional legacy into the future. As part of this effort, Peter and his brother established the Eliot and Peter Berg Endowment Fund.

    “We didn’t play it for the Big Time. We didn’t play it for the Small Time. We played it for the Real Time”– Peter Berg 7/24/11

    Planet Drum Foundation 415-285-6563
    P.O. Box 31251 mail@planetdrum.org
    San Francisco, CA 94131 http://www.planetdrum.org

    Tags: obituary, Peter Berg, Sustainability
    Comments to “Obituary: Peter Berg Oct. 1, 1937 — July 28, 2011”
    Sharon says:
    August 5, 2011 at 4:49 am

    So sad to learn of Peter Berg’s passing.

    Peter’s work on bioregionalism was influential for me and many others working in sustainability with Urban Ecology Australia.

    Now, I don’t only live in Adelaide, South Australia. I know I live in the Tandanya Bioregion: http://www.urbanecology.org.au/shadowplans; http://ecopolis.com.au/principles.html#principle2

    Condolences to Peter’s family and friends. Rest in Peace Peter, and know that your legacy lives on through the work of Planet Drum.
    _____________________________________________________
    Pushing Up Pansies | Free Farm Stand says:
    August 15, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    Finally, here is a sweet write up about Peter.

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