Closer to Nature is a collaboration between the Center for Arts at the Armory and Earthwise Aware. The program is designed to encourage youth ages 11 to 16 to explore the natural world around them through artistic creativity using natural and found objects, nature & naturalist walks, journaling, and app usage among other activities. The youth will eventually become mentors in their communities by taking part in awareness programs and sharing their knowledge with their schools, friends, younger and older family members.
Date & Time: The nature group will meet every other week on Saturday mornings, starting December 23 through March 17 (between 10 am and 12:30 pm) to learn about theme-based nature topics through storytelling, walks, natural object collection, and creation. We will offer this program per season, following the school seasonal structure having a Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall session.
Cost: The cost of the program is $150 for the whole season.
Topics will include:
Welcome & Winter Season Celebration (Dec 23)
Discuss Nature processes and cycles, focusing on the Winter season. Discover how the season was celebrated in Human history. The session includes the making of a decoration inspired by Winter & Nature (using Nature material if possible).
Nature Awakening (Jan 6)
A set of outdoor knowledge and sensory games to get to know each other while learning about Nature and our immediate environment.
Nature Journaling » Why, How to… (Jan 20)
Learn how to create and illustrate a Naturalist journal for recording our observations. This includes learning sketching and illustration skills.
Becoming an iNaturalist » The Magic of Biodiversity (Feb 3)
Explore Biodiversity, and then focus on the species who live among us, right here around the Armory. Explore Citizen Science and how to contribute to helping scientists all over the world with the recording of our observations. Learn what kind of information to record, and how to submit it using the iNaturalist app & platform.
Embrace your Tree Community (Feb 17)
Learn about forest & tree communities (their behavior, their interaction with one another). Investigate their ecological role and importance to us. Explore the trees in our immediate environment. Getting out in closeby parks, discuss, sketch and describe the trees that we see, without forgetting to observe and record the species that depend on them.
The World of Birds (Mar 3)
What are birds really? Discuss birds classification, behavior, their ecology and importance. Learn how to sketch and describe birds in a Nature journal (and where to share our observations). Get out, and learn how to spot (including how to use binoculars and scope), and practice identifying our local birds by sound, shape, flight, behavior and more…
The Life of a Plastic Bottle (Mar 17)
The focus here is on one of our human environmental impacts: our plastic usage. Explore the different forms of plastic that we use on a daily basis without us noticing. Understand the ramifications of the impact on wildlife and our health. Find out what to do to curb, even eliminate many usages of plastic. This session includes a recycled art activity, art that can become a means to raise awareness around you..