Posts Tagged ‘garden & ecology education’

Nov21

Roosevelt Island Living Library & Think Park : June to September 2017

Roosevelt Island Day, June 17, 2017 at Roosevelt Island, NYC  

The Native Americans called Roosevelt Island, Minnehanonck, meaning ‘It’s nice to be on the island’. Once infamous for its prisons and asylums, the two-mile-long island in New York City’s East River, located between Manhattan Island and the borough of Queens on Long Island has slowly emerged as a home to high-rise residential buildings. Right in the middle of the town, on an L-shaped plot just south of 504 Main Street, there lies a beautiful patch of green — the Roosevelt Island Living Library & Think Park, an ecological artwork created by Bonnie Ora Sherk, her non-profit organization Life Frames, Inc., and community members that engages the local schools and adults; educating them about gardening, ecology, multi-arts, literacy, nutrition, and local history through hands-on, standards-based Common Core learning programs.

Bonnie Ora Sherk with a group of enthusiastic kids and their parents on Roosevelt Island Day, June 17, 2017 at Roosevelt Island, NYC

Bonnie Ora Sherk came to Roosevelt Island in 2001, and the Roosevelt Island Living Library & Think Park emerged after a community planning process funded by the Ford Foundation, which supported developing a Master Plan for Roosevelt Island with the community.  After some planning meetings people said:  We don’t want to just plan.  Let’s do something that shows immediate results.  So, at the invitation of the then Principal of the  Roosevelt Island School (P.S./I.S.217), Bonnie and Principal, Sherry Gregory were determinated to develop a positive, creative, and life-affirming environment for the children, youth, and adults of Roosevelt Island, after the brutality and trauma of 9/11. Later funded by the RIOC Public Purpose Fund, the first RI Living Library Garden & Think Park witnessed a long history of involvement; students participating during the school day and after school as part of the Beacon Program,;patients visiting from the Coler-Goldwater Hospital, and enthusiastic parents participating in various activities around the Garden. A Community Master Plan for Southpoint was also developed in those early years.

On their way to RI Living Library & Think Park; Roosevelt Island Day, June 17, 2017 at Roosevelt Island, NYC

When the school was under construction for many years, beginning in 2011, RIOC offered another location for the RI Living Library Gardens – behind 504 Main Street, adjacent to the building where the new RI Library will be moving when its renovations are completed in 2020. This new site is more accessible to the whole community and is also wheelchair accessible, so the Gardens are often visited by many from the large RI disabled community, including members from the Senior and Disabled Associations.   The late, Virginia Granato, former President of RI Disabled Association was a frequent visitor to the Gardens to pick up bunches of her favorite herbs. Every summer, the RI Living Library & Think Park shares its produce, mainly herbs and vegetables, with the participating Beacon children and their parents, seniors and disabled residents.

Bonnie Ora Sherk instructing the group before planting; Roosevelt Island Day, June 17, 2017 on Roosevelt Island, NYC

The RI Living Library & Think Park has emerged as a powerful green center and learning landscape for the whole community. Accessible daily throughout the week, the quiet ambience of the Living Library Gardens have been instrumental in bringing together children and their parents, school groups, families, seniors, and disabled residents of the community, thereby successfully Cultivating The Human & Ecological Garden. Currently, the RI Living Library & Think Park has been working with many children year-around, encouraging them to exercise their science and art skills in the Gardens, while introducing them to science and other subjects. Regarding the project’s future plans, Bonnie Ora hopes to plant an Orchard, reflecting RI’s history of orchards, and develop International Gardens in conjunction with the diverse community of RI and the Library.

Kids planting the trees in RI Living Library & Think Park on Roosevelt Island Day, June 17, 2017 at Roosevelt Island, NYC

Shown below are some pictures from Roosevelt Island Day in June, 2017 and pictures of the Living Library & Think Park Gardens in September, 2017.

Facebook : Roosevelt Island Living Library Planting 2017, NYC, RI Day

Volunteers planting trees in RI Living Library & Think Park on Roosevelt Island Day, June 17, 2017   Roosevelt Island Living Library & Think Park   Roosevelt Island Living Library & Think Park   Roosevelt Island   Roosevelt Island
Sep08

Bonnie Ora Sherk and A Living Library Receive International Recognition at Venice Biennale 2017

Venice Biennale 2017

Bonnie Ora Sherk and A Living Library (A.L.L.) have been recognized and featured in one of the most prestigious contemporary art exhibitions in the world, The Venice Biennale 2017. The 57th edition of La Biennale, also known as the Olympics of the Art World, opened on May 10, 2017 and will continue through November 26, with an estimated attendance of more than 500,000 visitors. A Living Library is exhibited as a part of Bonnie Ora Sherk’s installation Evolution of Life Frames: past, present, future, in the Arsenale in the Pavilion of the Earth, dedicated to the environment, ecological, and communitarianism movements one of the nine themed sections of the exhibition curated by Christine Macel, also Chief Curator of the Pompidou in Paris, France.  Additionally, Bonnie Ora has been invited to return to Venice and La Biennale to give a public talk on her work on October 7, and then will give another public talk and workshop on A Living Library in Zurich, Switzerland on October 12 and 13th at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste / ZHdK.

Her two-part installation in La Biennale also features Crossroads Community (the farm) — a pioneering collaborative artwork involving urban agriculture, multi-arts, and environmental education — that resulted in Potrero del Sol Park, adjacent to the Chavez/ 101 Freeway Interchange. From 1974 to 1980, Sherk was the Founding Director and President of Crossroads Community (the Farm) which has been recognized as one of the first Alternative Art Spaces in the United States. Her installation includes the original drawings she made for the Park. A video featuring her and her way of working has been published on the official website of The Venice Biennale 2017.


As Founder and Director of Life Frames, Inc., the non-profit sponsor of A Living Library, Sherk has been relentlessly working towards raising awareness about the importance of ecological green space with integrated education of natural systems, and encouraging participation from all sectors of community with each local Branch Living LibraryA Living Library, or A.L.L. for short, links local resources and systems - biological, cultural, and technological – resulting in place-based, ecological transformation of communities and schools with integrated community programs.

Partnering with the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, Bonnie Ora and Life Frames developed A Living Library Nature Walk,  that has emerged as a powerful and successful prototype for connecting communities in the Islais Creek Watershed, the largest in San Francisco. The project aims to expand and interconnect the eleven neighborhoods of the Watershed that includes Bayview, Bernal Heights, Crocker-Amazon, Mission, Noe Valley, Potrero Hill, Portola, Sunnyside, Excelsior, OMI, and Glen Park through new, narrative resilient landscapes.  Further, it plans to transform the two neglected and flooding freeway interchanges of the Watershed — Chavez/101 and Alemany/101 — into Northern and Southern Gateways to the Watershed.

Since 2002, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department has been collaborating with Bonnie Ora on the Bernal Heights Living Library Nature Walk. Congratulating A.L.L. on its recognition at La Biennale, Phil Ginsburg, General Manager, SF Rec and Park, said, “The Living Library Nature Walk showcases how parks can connect our communities, as well as the innovation of sustainable landscapes that can tackle many environmental challenges including climate change, wild habit restoration and so much more. The fact that this project and the associated SF parks will be on display to receive international recognition, is a testament to Bonnie’s commitment to the coalescence of arts and nature.

While improving the beauty and health of the public realm of each neighborhood, A Living Library also provides multiple learning opportunities for communities and schools with hands-on education about climate change, flood mitigation, watersheds, natural systems, native species, green skills job training, environmental justice, and ecological transformation.

Sherk describes A.L.L. as “Cultivating the Human and Ecological Garden”, a planetary genre meant to be created in diverse communities of the world, and interconnected through Green-Powered Digital Gateways, so that the diversities and commonalities of cultures and ecologies can be shared. She views the recognition of A.L.L. at La Biennale as a wonderful opportunity and honor, and looks forward to extend its reach locally and globally.

References: http://sfrecpark.org/press-release-sf-rec-and-parks-partnership-with-bonnie-ora-sherk-and-a-living-library-receive-international/ Venice Biennale 2017 Venice Biennale 2017 Venice Biennale 2017   Venice Biennale 2017 Venice Biennale 2017 Venice Biennale 2017
Aug05

Bonnie Ora Sherk Presents Lecture On Funcshuional Art In Museum Of Arte Útil’s Escuela at Yerba Buena Center For The Arts

Bonnie Ora Sherk, long-time ecological artist, landscape architect, planner, educator, and Founder & Director of Life Frames, Inc. & A Living Library, presented a lecture on Funcshuional Art as A Living Library at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on August 2 as part of Escuela d'Arte Util (School of Useful Art), part of Tania Bruguera’s Exhibition of the Museum d'Arte Util at YBCA. Her talk was live-streamed on the YBCA's website (see below). Bonnie Ora Sherk's work was also featured on a KQED radio broadcast and appears on the KQED website about the Exhibition and Arte Util.

Presentation Part 1 Presentation Part 2

Below are a few pictures from the presentation.

Bonnie Ora Sherk presents this week’s lecture on “usership” at Escuela de Arte Útil at YBCA. Bonnie Ora Sherk presents this week’s lecture on “usership” at Escuela de Arte Útil at YBCA. Bonnie Ora Sherk presents this week’s lecture on “usership” at Escuela de Arte Útil at YBCA. Bonnie Ora Sherk presents this week’s lecture on “usership” at Escuela de Arte Útil at YBCA.
May04

PreK-12 Garden-Ecology-Multi-Arts-Literacy-Nutrition Outdoor Educators (Diverse Locations SF)

compensation: TBD employment type: part-time non-profit organization

PreK-12 Garden / Ecology / Multi-Arts / Literacy / Nutrition Teachers (part time) Diverse Locations SF-Available NOW !

This year-round position is a unique opportunity to work with a leading-edge, creative, environmental and educational nonprofit, Life Frames, Inc., dedicated to integrating community resources and creating transformative ecological and multicultural learning landscapes. Called A Living Library & Think Park, this program works with local schools and other community resources, to build on-site educational organic gardens and content-rich landscapes interlaced with other ecological elements, including the arts and digital technologies. A Living Library is linked to the curricula of the schools and animates all subjects through real-world experience. Students, together with adults, are involved in all aspects of the research, planning, design, implementation, use, maintenance, management and communications of the transformed learning environments and integrated community programs. (Life Frames, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer with a strong commitment to establishing a team of staff and volunteers who reflect the multicultural and linguistic diversity of the communities that we serve.)

Job Description:

Dynamic Teachers For Middle School & High School, plus some PreK-5 Students: Organic Gardening / California Natives / Ecology / Multi- Arts / Technology / Literacy / Nutrition Teachers (part-time diverse SF locations)The dynamic, inspired, and cheerful, outdoor educator will be leading groups of K-12 students and teachers, in hands-on learning and doing, in: organic & native gardening and tree planting, multi-arts including digital media, literacy and nutrition projects, as well as leading students in researching local ecology, history, watersheds, and existing local community, including its natural, multicultural, and built resources. You will be doing extensive student outreach & recruitment, attracting students for hands-on, learning programs, and leading gardening, related landscape, and arts activities as standards-based learning processes. You will be communicating about sustainability, ecological systems and native landscapes as well as performing community outreach activities with children and adults in ways that are fun, educational, and relevant. You will also help with some administration of program.

Qualifications:
  • The exceptional candidate must have at least a B.A. and knowledge of science, organic gardening, California native species, and the arts; digital media a plus ! MUST ALSO BE AN EXCELLENT GARDENER !• Must have extensive experience teaching, including Elementary, Middle School and High School students - working creatively and artistically with all learners with knowledge of Common Core Standards
  • Must be excellent and have ease in managing and leading groups of students with good classroom management skills in an outdoor setting
  • Must have a dynamic, outgoing personality and ability to attract middle school youth's participation in hands-on afterschool and summer program and captivate and hold young students' attention
  • Must be an excellent organic gardener, tree planter, and landscaper with knowledge of botany, cycles of life, insects, natural pest management, companion planting, California Native species, plant communities, nutrition & health
  • Knowledge about San Francisco ecology and watershed systems very important !
  • Must have excellent communication, writing, research skills & experience with curriculum development; knowledge of state standards a plus
  • Must have an evolved aesthetic/design sensibility; ability to draw well is fantastic and able to make attractive digital flyers a real win; carpentry skills are desired; digital media, video & other art skills a real plus!
  • Bilingual Spanish, Tagalog, Cantonese, or Mandarin, a real plus !!!
  • Must be creative, hard-working, strong with a can-do attitude, a self-starter, resourceful, flexible, team player, good team teacher, and able to also take direction from the Director
  • Ability & willingness to do some administrative work and social media !
  • Must be able to do physical gardening work and be able to lift 50 lbs
 
To find out more about A Living Library: please visit our blog: www.alivinglibrary.org Reply to the Founder & Director with cover letter & resume:  bonnieora@alivinglibrary.org
Aug24

A.L.L. GREEN FUTURES Paid Internship for Middle & High School Students !!

DCYFfall16ALLGreenFuturesFlyer-page-001 DCYF Fall 2016 Green Futures Application Form For more information contact : Cecilia Frisardi ceciliafrisardi@alivinglibrary.org 781-591-9267
© 2017 Life Frames, Inc. & A Living Library

A Living Library, Life Frame, Think Park, & A.L.L. are registered trademarks

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