Art: Nat Damm
Member, Board of Aldermen
Sammy Slade, 35, has a vision for Carrboro, N.C., a bustling, densely populated town that borders Chapel Hill. Where other people see a conventional burg with lots of single-family houses and lawns, Slade sees one big community farm for a post-oil era. Bikes, pedestrians, and vegetable carts would take over the roads, and the lawns would give way to densely planted veggie beds and grassy chicken runs. He helped launch Carrboro Community Garden in 2008, which quickly grew into a highly productive public space. Every year, he and his comrades from Carrboro Greenspace organize the Urban Farm Tour, a highly popular, walkable event that shows off the town’s budding network of vegetable gardens. In 2009, Slade decided to take his resilient-community ideas into town government, running for and winning election into the Carrboro Board of Aldermen. “The specters of climate change, Peak Everything, and biodivesity loss require that we remake our world by re-localizing the economy,” Slade says. Read a Grist article about the Urban Farm Tour.