Community engagement is necessary for a healthy democracy, but do we fully understand the level of commitment that it actually requires? We all have passionate opinions about how the world should be, but it takes the dedication of leaders in the community to encourage us to act. In Ann Arbor, green initiatives are being born at the community level, as evidenced by projects like the Washtenaw Local Food Summit. Last year, “stakeholders interested and involved in improving and re-localizing our food system” got together to share solutions, learn from experts on food and agriculture and grow a network. Community members who had already been working for the local food movement, on projects like the HomeGrown Festival and Slow Food Huron Valley, focused their efforts to create the event. Planning for the next Food Summit is underway, which is something I overhead while munching on a nice healthy, environmental conscious breakfast with some neighbors who are involved in the project. The event is scheduled for March 2nd, 2010. I will keep you posted on the details. In the meantime, the group exemplifies community-based action - regardless the season.