Everyday, Burners Without Borders transforms communities through innovative disaster relief programs and community initiatives that make a lasting impact. 



The BWB 128 Initiative: Update Nov.2015

Location: - Map It STATUS: Completed

The BWB 128 Initiative
(128 Regions – 128 Projects – 128 Days)

Update 11/18/2015:

We want to express both our thanks and congratulations to all of the project groups that rallied together and answered our call for the initial launch of the BWB 128 Initiative!

In all we received 21 projects, from 6 different countries, and 11 different states within the USA.  Collectively the projects engaged, at least 1,981 people, and thats a conservative number, as many projects only listed the amount of volunteers that worked on their project, and not the total number of people engaged.

Take a look at our project summaries below- and get inspired!

Alberta, Canada:  “A Helpful Burner Recipe”
The League of Extraordinary Albertans (LEA) organized their members to help build food hampers at the Calgary Food Bank. The LEA gathered 15 members to fill some essential volunteer positions. Most of the group were set up along a conveyor belt at various food stations, while others made sure the food stations were well stocked. In total, we processed about 10,185 lbs of food into 245 hampers that filled 28 pallets. That night, we had all worked together to help create a hunger-free community.

Alberta, Canada #2:  “De-mooping the Default World”
In May the League of Extraordinary Albertans (LEA) joined the annual Calgary Pathway and River Cleanup by organizing a group of members to de-moop a city park. Our intrepid group of 15 adults and children picked up litter for four hours on a spring morning. While most of the garbage consisted of small items like cigarette butts and disposable coffee cups, we removed one large item, an old bike frame. The morning was a great success in not only cleaning up the park (we collected eight garbage bags of moop), but also in strengthening our community’s bonds in and to the default world. We hope to expand in our contribution by increasing our numbers in future years and encouraging more costumes.

Alabama, US:  “Love Knots”
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Our vision is to create an artistic, meaningful project weaving love for self, love for others across the globe with Radical Inclusion. Our outreach is an intentional meditative process of letting go by making Celtic love knots. By learning how to make Celtic love knots with the intention of their release and incorporating these knots into the Temple of Promise at Burning Man, we are connecting our community, our thoughts, and our promises of release from old patterns that are binding us to a moment in time – the moment the Temple burns. We began the Alabama BWB Initiative at a local state park and we are attending two more parks (city and neighborhood) hosting community events soon.

Arizona, US:  “Feed My Starving Children”
The Arizona Burners Without Borders made a commitment to help provide food for children in countries in need. The ‘Feed My Starving Children’ project packs boxes of food of prepared and nutritious food and then delivers them to the places most in need. We gathered 23 volunteers to help in the process of packing bags with food, packing boxes with the bags, and then labeling them for shipping. ​We know that 26,784 meals will be able to be prepared from the time that our collective group packed! In addition to our hours of service, we donated to help continue the funding for this project in the hopes that we can continue to help make a difference in the lives of starving children across the globe.
Check out BWB-Arizona on FB:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/645538828816105/

Athens, Georgia:  “McNutt Creek Clean Up”
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​Members of the Athens, GA. Burner community came together on Saturday, July 25 for a river clean up project. The costumed event focused on a popular spot on the McNutt Creek near Macon Highway. The creek clean up resulted in over ten massive garbage bags filled with cans and bottles, 3 trashed stadium chairs, a discarded tent, and too many cigarette butts to count. Prior to the event, coffee was enjoyed by all – A great way to start a Saturday. This clean up exemplified the Principles of Leave No Trace and Civic Responsibility. Of course, it stands with the awesomeness of the Athens community – Many thanks to the entire team for putting this together!
Check out BWB-Georgia on FB: https://www.facebook.com/BWBGA/

Far North QLD, Australia:  “Tropical Gardens to Nourish our Communityfruitincommunity
Creation and expansion of a network of farms working towards self sufficiency through gardening of fruit and vegetables and the development of community lifestyles across Far Northern Australia’s tropical zone and connecting up with other similar projects to form a “friendship” trail which interested people can become involved with. This project can further serve as an example for sustainable living and food production in the region both for individuals and government bodies.

Engagement – an ongoing workshop:
Providing assistance in creating and maintaining a low input – high output edible tropical Fruit Garden through plants that are hardy and delicious – both international plants that are well suited for the area as well as native plants. Sparked up with communal food preparation and socialising on the end of the day and regular events (including live music and art) to celebrate our work and create strong social bonds between participants. We continuously introduce people to the project and teach them different aspects of living in and from a garden.

Positive Outcomes:

  • Homegrown food supply which creates an independence from supermarkets and fast food
  • Maintaining pristine environments through less support of conventional food market; avoiding GMO’s, processed and packaged foods and the existing distribution system, thereby less resource use and less destructive impacts
  • Mental and physical Health for Community members (young & old and cross cultural)
  • Food brings people together which aides in the mental wellbeing of the community due to strong social bonds
  • Physical exercise and distraction from unbeneficial habits
  • Learning about a way to eat sustainably and a healthy active lifestyle
  • Minimum success more trees adding to a better Carbon balance 😉

Sydney, Australia:  “Popup Picnic”
A popup picnic experience where people are invited to set themselves up in comfy little spaces with games and interactive toys to play with together. As hosts we offered drinks and snacks and gave picnickers the experience  and happiness of gifting!!

Ultimately we wanted to recreate the feeling, vibe and experience you get when walking past a theme camp and unexpectedly get offered a gift and then find yourself participating in some interesting activities. This feeling that completely takes you by surprise and takes you safely out of your comfort zone and into a different space of amusement and joy.

Chicago, IL:  “Chicago Community Grant Program”
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BWB-Chicago hosted its 7th Community Grant Salon this past spring. Four groups were invited to present a 10-minute pitch of their civic & community project ideas to our audience, followed by a quick Q&A. After we share an organic and locally sourced meal prepared by BMChicago community members. Each memeber of the audience votes and the winner is chosen that night. I Grow Chicago’s Summer of Promise program was our winner; a youth camp focused on academic enrichment, cultural arts, and leadership development. The grant amount was for 2,650$ that night.
Check out BWB-Chicago on FB:  https://www.facebook.com/bwbchicago/

Detroit:  ‘Collecting for Alternatives for Girls’
This was an opportunity to give to Alternative For Girls so they could help homeless and at risk teens and women. They also help prostitutes by giving out hygiene packs on the streets. Items we take for granted are items they need and we can easily donate from our surplus.  Things we donate and purchased: sanitary napkins, panty liners, tampons, razors, condoms, lotions, candy, deodorant, soap, baby wipes, toothbrushes, and paste
Read the blog post written by BWB-Detroit here:  http://bit.ly/1PRwt5M
Check out BWB-Detroit:  https://www.facebook.com/BWBDetroit/

Japan:  “Costume Beach Clean”
To show our gratitude to the beautiful beach where we we spend weekends for Burning Japan,  local burners and Burning Japan got together for a beach clean on June 21st.  We all wore Ninja bands on our head, and the Ninjas quickly spread on the beach and went through the area quickly, the whole project took us about an hour and a half.  Headman of Nemoto community was happy to have us for a cleanup during off-season.​It was planned to make an opportunity to bind burners and the local Nemoto community throughout the year, not only around the time of our Burning Japan event.

New York City:  “Urban Green Renewals”
Members of the NYC Burning Man Community have identified some small, yet important, ways to make neighborhoods greener and more ecologically healthy, and benefit those who live near those spaces. The intention is for related initiatives to be an ongoing project; thus far, we completed three separate dates across two initiatives. The first involved taking streetside empty tree pits–square plots of dirt within sidewalks–and prepping the soil to plant plants (donated by a nursery.) The second involved prepping a garden space in Rockaway Beach–an area hard-hit by Sandy–to become a fertile growing ground and community space through the use of recycled food waste and recycled building materials.

San Francisco, CA:  “Experimental Scavenger Hunt”
The Burning Man Experiential Scavenger Hunt was free and all-ages. Participants met at the David Best Temple Project, currently installed at Patricia’s Green in Hayes Valley. They formed teams and received a list of experiences and challenges that led them toward the finish line at the Flaming Lotus Girls’ SOMA installation at the waterfront. Novel tasks such as “Collaboratively create a work of art out of MOOP,” sought to playfully touch upon Burning Man’s Ten Principles. Teams earned points for completing various experiences toward silly prizes, but the main point was the participation itself!

San Francisco North Bay, CA:  “Burners for the Homeless”
We helped with serving dinner to local homeless at our nearby mission. Plating up food and helping the residents serve dinner to their guests was very rewarding. We’re doing this on the last Thursday of each month on an ongoing basis.  We’ve had four or five volunteers each time, mostly new people each time, and we’ve done this monthly since May. People who didn’t go to Burning Man even stepped up to keep it going while we were on playa. Eventually we would like to create a backpack project like they have in Detroit, and find ways to work with local groups like the Sonoma County Food Runners to expand our ability to help out.

Seattle, Washington:  “The Tilth Project”
On May 16th BWB-Seattle joined the Seattle Tilth to collaborate in building raised bed vegetable gardens for low-income families and organizations that supply local food banks. Out of approximately 100 volunteers, more than 20 were burners and we accounted for build leads for 8 of the 17 build teams. We built gardens for 14 families, 2 Senior Living facilities, and 1 community center with a total of 31 raised garden beds. That required us to move a total of nearly 78,000 lbs. of soil by hand, with over 15,000 of it by burners gifting their time to better their community in the spirit of the 10 principles.
Check out BWB-Seattle on FB:  https://www.facebook.com/bwbseattle/

Hawaii:  “Sleepout for the Homeless”
Honolulu Burners Without Borders and local organization ‘In The Streets’ slept out with the homeless in Kaka’ako in an effort to create awareness surrounding the challenges of being homeless in paradise. Twenty-Two cities across the world in four countries participated in this sleepout to create awareness locally and globally. Locally we shared snacks, water and supplies with houseless folks. All tents, blankets, air mattresses, supplies were donated after the event.
Check out BWB-Hawaii on FB:  https://www.facebook.com/BWBHawaii/

Hawaii #2:  “Spring [In the Streets]”
A group of community members got together to provide a fun & family friendly event for Honolulu houseless ohana (families). There was a hot meal, healthy snacks to take away, a street store with blankets, pillows, towels, clothing, shoes, hygiene supplies and non perishable foods. There was also live Hawaiian music and some princesses came to share their joy!

North Texas:  “Beachside Clean-up”
Mission: To remove all negative trace from the Kleberg County property by changing the culture of use to a sustainable state by hosting hybrid cleanup/celebration gatherings and imparting sustainable cultural values to our local populace by behavioral modeling and establishing a grassroots organization of folks to clean stuff up by welcoming the stranger.
Check out BWB-Corpus Christi on FB:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/662157823810955/
It is a burn event with some tweaks!
· It is held on public property, in this case a 7 mile stretch of beach we call Burner Beach in Corpus Christi TX
· There are no ticket sales, donations are collected to defray cost
· The goal of this intentional community is to maintain and restore a neglected section of Texas Wild Coast
· There is no perimeter, all are welcome to join.  The event is our gift to the local community.
· At Beachside, we are all Greeters, we are all Rangers.  There are no volunteer positions other than a sign-in kiosk so that attendees can focus on cleaning MOOP off the beach.
· Burning Man started on the beach, we intend to stay there.

Turkey:  “World through a Pinhole”
The primary purpose of the project ”World through a Pinhole” is to create a common platform for many children living in regions under very harsh living conditions where they can take a photo, produce them and share what they produce with the world. Children, aged 10 to 12, will be able to take photos with their own Pinhole cameras and look at their own life from a different perspective.
Check out the projects Facebook here:  https://www.facebook.com/pinholeforkids

Utah:  “Burrito Project”
Burners Without Borders Utah volunteered for the Burrito Project SLC on July 29, 2015. About 30 volunteers, including a few kids, met up at Rico’s Burritos and we rolled about 1000 bean and rice burritos on homemade tortillas. We got on our bikes & cars and rode around the city. We didn’t want to offend anyone, so we would ask folks if they were hungry, and if they were, we gave them a burrito. Almost all of the people we fed live on the streets. We are hoping to collaborate with Burrito Project SLC again in the near future. It was a fun and easy way to help feed people in need. It was also really neat that th kids were welcome to volunteer as well!
Check out BWB Utah on FB:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/210995262359378/

Vancouver, British Columbia:  “SOS Children’s Walk/Run”
BwB Vancouver joined in the SOS Children’s Village Walk/Run on May 24th 2015.We collected pledges and participated in the 2K, 5K & 10K Walk/Run to help make a difference for over 9,000 BC children and youth in foster care.Our group raised $340.00 total for SOS!
Check out BWB-Vancouver on FB:  https://www.facebook.com/bwbvancouver/

South Africa:  “Temple of Metamorphosis Orphanage Project”
Information coming soon!


Original call-out for participation in the 128 Initiative:

To create awareness within the Regional Network of the Burners Without Borders civic engagement mission. This mission is to globally promote activities that support a community’s inherent capacity to thrive by encouraging innovative approaches and grassroots initiatives that make a positive community impact. The BWB 128 Initiative serves as the foundation for creating a culture of ongoing engagement of BWB projects at the Regional Network level.

Project Overview:
Every Region would be asked/challenged to do a single BWB project within a 128 day time frame from the GLC (April  10 -12, 2015). It is emphasized these project are not per Regional Contact, but by Region. All projects should be done within the Region.

Scope of Projects:
We encourage projects that can be completed within a few hours. You may initiate your own project, or explore within your broader home community, identifying existing volunteer opportunities where your Burner family can collaborate and bring something special to that volunteer role for a day. Whatever you choose, make sure the projects are at the level of complexity you feel most comfortable with.

Examples include:

  • Starter – Food or clothing collection at an event, food bank crew shift,
  • Medium – Costume neighborhood clean-up,
  • Advanced – A day on a Habitat build, wall painting project at a shelter,
  • More Advanced – Chiditarod (costumed bar crawl food & cash fundraiser). A More Advanced project may not be finished in the expected timeframe. However, the start on a viable plan works just as well.

Please note these are examples and not what the project expectation is at each level.
If a Region has an ongoing project or is the process of starting a previously planned project, the intent would not be to start a new project. They may submit those projects to showcase their Region’s BWB efforts.

Project Budget:
No specific budget amount is associated with the projects. The expectation and encouragement is to have the projects be of little or no expense to the Region. Any expenses incurred is paid from within the Region. 

Need Resources to help organize and plan your project?
Check out our ‘Kick-Starting your own Civic Project‘ document.  If you have more questions- ask!

Showcasing your Project:
All 128 Initiative projects will be recognized and shared for a Job Well Done!
Recognition includes:

  • Documentation on the BWB website.
  • Inclusion in the BWB display at ‘Everywhere’ in BRC, for those that submit their project form and visual documentation prior to August 15.
  • Highlighted on the Burning Blog write-up.
  • A summary document of the projects will be produced for circulation. This document will be based on the content submitted for the BWB National website.

Project Documentation:
At the completion of your 128 Initiative project, an informational form should be completed by the project lead and be inclusive of pictures (video even better) telling the story of the project.

The 128 Initiative documentation form can be found at: BWB 128 Initiative Submission Form

Supporting pictures and video should be sent to: breedlove@burningman.org – Be sure to identify the project & region when submitting pictures and/or video.



> How to create a Project.