This is my second year as artist-in-residence on this beautiful campus in the woods working with the School Overnight Program. IslandWood is literally an environmental classroom in the forest where experiential learning takes place in nature. Students and teachers are immersed in the outdoors from dawn to night using their five senses to discover the environment and connect with it in a personal way.
Every time I visit IslandWood it reminds me of how fortunate I am to spend so much of my time learning in the field. The nature center is a perfect match for what I love doing - combining field work, arts, and sciences while learning.
I facilitated five workshops entitled “The Art of Maps” during this recent residency. Rain or shine, even during a short-lived hailstorm everybody enthusiastically explored, and mapped the beach at historical Blakely Harbor. IslandWood staff, graduate students, docents, chaperones, and 5th and 6th graders made observations, and blended artistic talent and scientific tools to create a map of this special place. Their beautiful maps illustrate the history of the beach and accurately depict the characteristics of the intertidal zone as they learn about the shore environment. But, they also reflect their experience at the beach including the weather that they worked under and the individual discoveries that they made.