The UNR Mission

Our Mission: The Upper New Review

The mission of The Upper New Review is to seek out and foster place-based creative work in the watersheds of the world as an avenue for humans’ continued individual and collective growth toward ecological literacy and increased practice of environmental stewardship.

ECO LIT Upper New Review Logo Icon for the UNR Mission

The Upper New Review is an environmental literary arts magazine fostering place-based creative works around the globe.

We are modeling this critical thinking and growth in our home watershed, The Upper New River Basin (USGS 05050001).  We aim for the Upper New Review to serve as part of a curated clearinghouse for expression, exploration, research, learning, design, and stewardship for the populations and communities of the Upper New River Basin as part of global conversation with watershed communities (bioregions) across the globe.

A view looking north across Alleghany County, North Carolina. Herein are the headwaters of the Upper New River, as well as the headquarters of the Upper New Review.

Our Vision: The Upper New

The Upper New Review is the first project to be initiated by The Upper New, an environmental education organization focused on incidental learning through engaging multimedia experiences.

We envision The Upper New Review to continue to take root and grow across platforms as an environmental literary arts hybrid digital multimodal media publication focused on place-based expression of creativity in all its forms, initially focused on the watershed communities of the continent currently referred to as North America. 

Our intention is to engage with all the continents of Earth over time.  We are already making connections with Europe and Africa, with others in our sights as we grow our reach!

The Upper New Review embodies the environmental humanities.

At The Upper New Review, we are seeking out place-based creative works around the globe.

We intend for The Upper New Review to be a place-based socio-cultural archive for bioregionalism, ecological literacy,  and sense of place within the Upper New River basin, as a model for the watershed communities of the world.  We hope our curation and publication efforts serve as an entry portal to a much deeper understanding of our relationships with the natural world and its ecological complexities, wherever we may be on Earth.

We intend for the magazine to serve as a conversation starter concerning the Upper New River watershed as a conceptual home for critical thinking, systems wisdom, ecological literacy, and a sense of place (as a model for the watershed communities of the world).

What is your sense of place?

Show us.  Tell us. 

Take us there, from wherever we are!

Due to age and uniqueness of the New River, the age of the Appalachian Mountains through which it flows, and the fact that the Upper New River Basin is a headwaters basin surrounded by neighboring headwaters basins, we see the Upper New River Basin as a critical headquarters for ecological literacy and environmental stewardship.  A lot of communities live downstream from us.

We want to understand the Upper New as a commons.  

As a neighborhood.  

As a sanctuary.  

As a community of practice for all residents, neighbors, and visitors.

Practicing what, you may ask? 

The practice of living our best, most ecologically fit and cooperative lives in a shared space we all call home with all other species on the planet.

We want to embody and pragmatize the concept of reciprocal reasoning: a way to use internal and external perspectives as complementary pathways for understanding and appreciating human relationships with (and actions within) the complexity of natural and built systems, and how they interact with each other dynamically over time.

In due time, our intention for the Upper New project is to achieve nonprofit 501(c)(3) status concerning both educational and literary publication operations.

A video spot introducing The Upper New and Review

Why curate a print magazine?

We believe some expressions need permanence and tangibility as part of the experience of perception, feeling, interpretation, and understanding.  We’re creating a “temporarily permanent” archive of these expressed works.

With an appreciation of reduced waste, our intention is to only print as many copies of each issue of the Upper New Review as absolutely necessary, avoiding the waste of overstocked inventory. 

For now, we’ll stick with the Upper New website and the Upper New Review magazine.  As we explore the territory and get a sense of what kinds of expressions are happening in the watershed, we hope to expand our offerings in a variety of interesting directions.

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