Lessons Learned from Green Eggs and Ham

By: Sara Innamorato

Green Eggs and Ham. Photo from

Doing a lot with a little.

In 1960, Dr. Seuss wrote one of the bestselling children’s books of all time, “Green Eggs and Ham.” According to Wikipedia, the work was a result of a bet between Seuss and his publisher that the author could not complete an entire book using fewer than the 225 in “The Cat in the Hat.”

Not only did Seuss write Green Eggs and Ham in less than 225 words, he did it using just 50.

He did a lot with a little — which is a theme constantly present in community development work.

Many communities and cities face problems that seem insurmountable, such as blighted lots or poor air quality. Faced with these challenges, it’s hard to believe that without infinite time, money and people to solve the issue, a solution could be authored.

The truth is change happens, and oftentimes it starts small, with one person. One person picking up litter gets a community excited about planting sunflowers one season, which turns into a whole greened-up street.

We call this the upward spiral of community action, where one small action provokes another, inspires others, garners attention and builds momentum. In other words, doing a lot with a little.

Where once-blighted parcels lined the streets, now stand a community food garden, rose bushes — a neighborhood gathering space complete with stage along Larimer Ave.

Have you ever taken on a big project with little resources? Tell us your story below.

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