Nick Hacheny is an incarcerated environmentalist and writer from Washington State. His work has been published in BioCycle, The Progressive Magazine, The Appeal, Filter and The Economist 1843 magazine. His TEDx Talk on the environmental program he pioneered in prison can be seen at here.
In what ways does nature inspire or inform your work?
I have seen first-hand the power of nature to mitigate the damage of incarceration. Prisons are incredibly unnatural spaces fabricated out of concrete and surrounded by metal wire. They are very effective at causing harm. Nature, by contrast, is healing. Providing opportunities for incarcerated people to tap into the healing aspects of nature, whether it be taking care of a flock of chickens, growing vegetables or even grabbing a handful of worms, is very inspiring to me.
What does it mean to you to be part of a thriving ecosystem?
To me, being part of a thriving ecosystem means fostering an environment where the land is being fed in a sustainable manner while simultaneously feeding those on the land. A symbiotic relationship that fosters health and healing.