Posts Tagged ‘Public Art’


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

Bonnie Ora Sherk Presents A Living Library To Educators At Nevada Museum of Art

The Nevada Museum of Art in Reno is presenting a STEAM TEACHER TRAINING and invited Bonnie Ora Sherk to give Keynote Address: PastedGraphic-2-page-001   unnamed Bonnie Ora Sherk’s Keynote Address:  Steam + Literacy With A Living Library excited the enthusiastic crowd of Nevada educators, city leaders, and others at the Nevada Museum of Art on January 28so much that they now want to develop a Reno Branch Living Library & Think Park.  Stay tuned as this exciting opportunity evolves …
SATURDAY, JANUARY 28, 2017  8 am – 4:30 pm
Reception to follow - Nevada Museum of Art | 160 W. Liberty St. Reno

Imagine a blank canvas where you are given the freedom to design a city from the ground up. Join us for an exploration of this topic through the STEAM lens to discuss city planning for the next generation. Through hands-on activities and presentations, you will bring these material to life in your classroom.


Bonnie Ora Sherk | Landscape Architect, Artist, Educator, and Founder/Director of A Living Library which transforms derelict urban spaces and hidden watersheds into thriving art gardens, resilient learning landscapes,and education centers for children and adults that uses STEAM + Literacy to impact communities.

Will Roger Peterson | Founding Board Member and Board Chairman, Burning Man Project, Black Rock City Planner and Designer

FREE training open to all educators in Nevada.
Includes: continental breakfast, lunch, and reception.
Upon completion participants will receive 0.5 In-Service Credit


Contact Craig Rosen, DRI Community Relations and Professional Development Administrator at or call 702-862-5332 for more information.

Arte y Cultiva/Art & Cultivation In Bernal Heights Living Library & Think Park At Junipero Serra Early Education School

The Living Library & Think Park at Junipero Serra Early Education School has been transformed this Fall by students, teachers and volunteers working hard to bring life and beauty to the Lower Garden. From Kindergarteners to Fifth Graders, over a hundred students have spent weeks in the Garden, pulling weeds, watering thirsty perennials, creating pathways and building a worm compost to feed the Garden! For some time now, this Living Library & Think Park Garden was needing some TLC, and starting in September it received some enthusiastic helping hands! Bean trellises were built, signs in both Spanish and English were made, and a beautiful mural depicting the relationship between humans and other forms of nature was painted on the stairwell of the Lower Garden.

A fantastic volunteer, Salvador from Chile, graced us with his construction skills and fixed many structures in the Garden. He helped to rebuild garden beds and lent his hand to bringing color and art into the environment ! Thank you, Salvador for all of your hard work!

bedprep-2Growing spaces were rebuilt, soil amended and cultivated with seeds.

plantingbrassicas-34th and 5th Graders planting Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower and Kale.

beantrellis-2Ms. Monica’s and Ms. P’s Kindergarten Classes planted the beans that quickly climbed up the trellis that the older students helped to erect.

searchingforworms-2-2 searchingforworms2-2-2

Students learned all about worms in Ms. Kristin’s and Ms. Alex’s classes and then went on a scavenger hunt in the Living Library Garden looking for worms, leaves, grass and twigs to add to the worm compost they built.

bilingualsigns-2bilingualsigns2-2 The majority of students at J.Serra are native Spanish speakers, so we wanted to make their Living Library Garden a bi-lingual space. Beautiful images and scientific terms surround the outdoor classroom

  The Lower Garden at Junipero Serra is in bloom and students truly love spending time there. Their Living Library & Think Park is a year-round sanctuary for not only children, but for our wonderful pollinators like hummingbirds, butterflies and bees. The amount of imagination, smiles and laughs that are growing in this ecological and happy environment is enough to bring the roses to bloom and seeds to germinate. The young gardeners of Bernal Heights and the Mission District are busily transforming their Living Library & Think Park Garden into a magical space for humans and other forms of nature, while learning to plant seeds of kindness everywhere they go.   Written by Alexandra Grubb

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 781-591-9267

FREE Program For Parents & Children with A Living Library & Roosevelt Island Public Library

Please join us again for this exciting Free hands-on learning Program for PARENTS & CHILDREN TOGETHER in NYC on Roosevelt Island !


A.L.L. Gardening, Literacy, Multi-Arts, Science, Nutrition,

Local History/Ecology 



Wednesday Afternoons This Fall

September 30 – November 18 | 3:30-5:00 p.m.

RI Living Library & Think Park

Register Now at the RI Library - 524 Main Street, Roosevelt Island 

Enrollment Limited to 25 Families

(Caregivers included) with Children (ages 4-14)


Come Grow With Us!

For More Information Contact:

Nicole Nelson: 212-308-6243 / Premilla Dixit Hobbs: 845-443-0386

You can download the application here

© 2017 Life Frames, Inc. & A Living Library

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

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