Last week I visited two elementary schools to talk to kids about our forests, the future of the woods, why it's important and about artmaking related to this. I showed them what I've done so far for the Art of Action commission and we talked about what the forests mean to them and their families. Among the children who had relatives and friends who were loggers, builders, firewood users etc was one little girl who volunteered that her dad works at the post office, where there is a lot of paper, another wood product! Seems to me like they are connecting the dots pretty well!
Kids in both schools were able to tell me lots of things we get from the forest: wood, fuel, paper, oxygen, carbon sequestration, wildlife habitat, hunting opportunities, recreation, food and biodiversity. The one thing I don't recall anyone mentioning was perhaps the most important: clean water.
We then went on to do drawings and watercolors of plant life I had collected from the Vergennes watershed property. Above is a photo of a group of students observing a watercolor demonstration I gave. They really paid attention! Many thanks to the teachers who arranged the visits: Michaela Granstrom, Nancy Custer Carroll and Devon McLeod. And most of all to the students who were lively, intelligent and appreciative: thank you for welcoming me into your classrooms!