Week 2

MONDAY - We went to the Emerald Necklace Conservancy and learned about plants in the Back Bay Fens, a restoration/conservation project at Mothers Rest, history, and the Gatehouse that controls the flow of water in and out of the Back Bay Fens.

 On our way to Mothers Rest, we learned about this sycamore tree.

Sycamore tree bark looks like this.

We also learned about Beech trees. Here we are looking at two Beech trees. The bark looks like elephant skin and the base of the tree looks like elephant feet.

 This is one of the Emerald Necklace Conservancy youth talking with us about phragmites, and invasive plant.

 We learned about the slope restoration project at Mothers Rest.

Back to the Emerald Necklace Conservancy office, where it was warm, we learned more about the Back Bay Fens.

TUESDAY - We visited the Verdant Exhibition at MassArt's Paine/Bakalar Galleries and learned about Environmental Art.
Paula Hayes created glass vessels with plants living inside.

We did an art project where we made models of a "dream backyard." It was a glimpse into being a landscape architect.

WEDNESDAY - Alan Banks from the Olmsted National Historic Site came in and gave us a great presentation about the designer of the Emerald Necklace, Frederick Law Olmsted, and the history of the Back Bay Fens.

Frederick Law Olmsted when he was 35, and beginning his career as a Landscape Architect

Before: a view of the Riverway after the grading was finished, and before it was planted.

After: the same view 20 years later after plants grew in.

A historic map of the Back Bay Fens
THURSDAY - The Green Team from Emerald Necklace Conservancy came in and taught us about invasive plants.
Green Team youth took turns presenting about the invasive plants in the Fens: Garlic Mustard, Japanese Knotweed, Phragmites, and Oriental Bittersweet.

We played Jeopardy to see who had learned the most about invasive plants during the presentation. It was fun!

Week 1

Research in the Library: Librarians Paul and Greg showed us the materials in the library that we can use to reference information that we can use in our pages in the field guide:


We brainstormed the things we want to include in the Field Guide and started thinking about the layout:

The resulting book mock-up template looks something like this:

We worked on calligraphy for lettering styles to use in the book:

Foraging Olmsted

Artward Bound students are creating a field guide to the Fens that features illustrations and text that educates visitors about the natural and cultural resources that exist there. Special attention is on plants that serve some sort of human purpose. Works in progress for the field guide will be on display in the Garden Lab in the Brant Gallery on the 3rd floor of South Hall. On April 27th, youth will co-lead a workshop that further connects people with the natural resources of the Fens. The workshop will engage participants in hands-on activities that may include an urban foraging excursion, cooking demonstrations, food tastings, and extracting pigments from nature.