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ATLANTA (April 25, 2022) – Inspired by Earth Day, three friends have launched Root Local to raise awareness and visibility for sustainability issues ranging from maintaining Atlanta’s tree canopy to recycling, clean air and clean water. While Atlanta boasts several organizations that address certain of these specific issues, Root Local aims to become a central organization that connects them all.

Root Local was born out of a dinner prior to the pandemic when Liz Lapidus, Johanna Ellis Reisinger and Butch Whitfield posited that small changes could make a big impact. With careers in public relations, real estate and the auto industry, they shared their own conservation hacks like turning your car off instead of idling, composting and shopping at their favorite farmers markets. They agreed that their individual networks wanted to do the right thing, but just didn’t know where to start. And they agreed they could educate their friends to become stewards of the environment through similar conversations that they could convene at curated dinner parties.

Then the world shut down.

Over the next two years they surveyed key constituents, developed a strategic plan, hired an executive director and embarked on a branding campaign. Root Local intends to influence the future of Atlanta’s natural resources, uplift organizations doing the day-to-day work, and connect community members to services. 

“We aim to bring environmental allies together to share ideas and information about conservation issues, create a collective impact plan, and support our local organizations with volunteers and resources," said Tabitha Schwartz, executive director of Root Local. “We want to raise awareness for all the groups doing great work in the community.”

With so many options available to engage in conservation work, Root Local wants to reduce decision fatigue by clarifying and organizing stakeholders. Root Local has recognized a need to connect all the groups working in the field, and ensure all communities are included in the conversation. After extensive surveying with stakeholders, the Root Local founders homed in on the specific environmental concerns relating to metro Atlanta. The organization will spend the next three years creating a foundation for collective impact, including:

  • Convening the environmental nonprofits, government agencies, community members, businesses, schools, community groups and philanthropists. 

  • Identifying priorities and opportunities with the group, as environmental needs will change over time. 

  • Educating communities on impact and engagement strategies and connecting them with organizations doing direct service environmental impact work. 

Through this work, Root Local will raise visibility for conservation-focused mindsets and support direct service organizations with education services provided to the local communities. The organization will also connect environmental sectors to each other to speak with one voice, one vision, and measure the collective impact. This connected agenda will allow all groups to better tell their stories to local communities and communities outside the region.

For more information about Root Local, please visit, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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