The Orange County Interfaith Coalition for the Environment, known as OCICE, was
founded in 1996, as an outgrowth of an organization called Green Networking.
OCICE was dedicated to interfaith environmentalism, and a pioneer in the Back to
Nature Movement, and to restoring the natural ecosystem of Earth that human activity
had impacted and damaged.
Over the years until 2017, OCICE was led and guided by Margaret Henke, its director and
co-founder, and hosted numerous events and workshops devoted to the education and
Care of Creation. It had yearly conferences with workshops and recognized scientists,
environmentalists, and spiritual leaders, whose message was to inform the public of the
massive destruction being done to Mother Earth through human activity and ignorance.
Some of our more famous speakers were, Julia Butterfly Hill, and her message of
protecting our forests from clear-cutting, and her adventure of living in a tree she called
Luna to protect the tree from the saws of the paper industry.
We had Duane Elgin, environmental activist and scientist, Ed Begley, Jr., actor and
environmental activist, Dr. Matthew Fox, Episcopal priest and founder of Creation
Spirituality, and Bill Mckibbon of 350.org, just to name a few of our guest speakers.
Much more was accomplished through OCICE during that time period, but in 2017,
OCICE began a new page in its history when Margaret Henke moved from California to
Georgia, leaving leadership of OCICE in the hands of Rev. Susan Chamberlain, an
Interfaith Minister, and long-time OCICE board member.
Since 2017, OCICE has continued on with a dedicated board and design team to hands on
work in Orange County addressing the Climate Crisis. We are currently involved with an
OC Tree Movement Project to green Orange County in the next 4 – 5 years with shade
trees to help absorb carbon in the atmosphere as well as provide the shade that can
lower temperatures significantly if planted abundantly and well cared for. This is our
primary goal for the years ahead.
In this way, OCICE will be heading into a future with the youth of the world who are
determined to bring about climate solutions and to work for sustainability on our planet.