GTK- Kick Off "Connect. Create. Celebrate

2014 Get to Know Contest Launch Event

Watkins Regional Park (Upper Marlboro, Maryland)

"Touch Me" Textile and Tree Wrapping Project

Alpha Bruton, teamed up with Joe Holliman, an animator and illustrator drew youth to our area by staging an outdoor gallery setting. We placed the tables in the round, and had the park rangers bring out four models from the Nature Center, to be used as still life subjects for the youth to sketch. 

Youth will freestyle paint on burlap which will be wrapped onto trees to draw attention to the environmental installation. We used cloth and paper to create pin burrs, and other simple patterns, and installed them on to trees, stumps, fallen trees, and branches. 

Caryl Henry Alexander, Project Coordinator and Joe Holliman
Site for Planned for Installation Altar 
The Get to Know Society has been inspiring connections between children and nature in the outdoors for over a decade. The Get to Know Society's mandate is to promote environmental education in order to raise a generation of Canadians who are inherently aware of their impact on the environment and how their positive interaction with their local wildlife can help preserve our natural wonders for generations to come.
Banner Entrance to the Phantom Gallery

You can find this installation along the Wetland Trail at Watkins Regional Park. This trail is a blend of forested, wetland, and upland habitats, this trail features a hike across several boardwalks, a short climb up the ridge, and a view of of 120+ year old tulip poplars.

They also drew images on the burlap for the second half of their workshop, they wrapped this burlap onto the trees to adorn the trees in nature.
 The youth were given fabric squares, twine, raffia and free-will to create an environmental installation. I found each group interaction, and creation interesting. Above the group roll the fabric and started to hang the rolled fabric up, tying it with the raffia to create  a soft sculpture wind chime. It was also wonderful how the groups worked together, one group took the raffia and wrapped a small tree. I turned around and went "WOW".

Through the Get to Know Program, the Society helps ensure that young people are provided opportunities to spend more time outdoors. This Is particularly important in this day and age, as children continue to abandon outdoor experiences for those they can participate in from within the home. 

This detachment from nature, and resulting sedentary lifestyle, can have a negative effect on the development of children.

 The motto of the Get to Know Program is "Connect. Create. Celebrate." These words articulate our mission to foster connections to nature through the creative arts- and to celebrate the fantastic work being done by youth in response to the environment and the need to understand and value nature.

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