Photo by Clara Stewart-Robertson & Jennifer Pritchard
HALIFAX – “North End neighbours and all Haligonians alike – look out!” proclaims Ecology Action Centre‘s Community Environmental Educator, Kristen Rae Finley. That is, look out for the Neighbourhood Earth project launching this summer. Using art as a medium to learn about our landscape and urban ecology, Neighbourhood Earth is a free education program with a community focus. Initiated by the EAC’s Diversity Committee, this program hopes to grow the Centre’s role as a friendly neighbour in the North End of Halifax. It is about “showing our passion for a healthy, happy and creative North End”.
Delivering creativity, art and ecological education to unexpected spaces helps us all imagine possibilities for our neighbourhoods, our city. Such urban activism was described as “placemaking” by Michael Cook of City Repair in Portland, Oregon who recently hosted workshops at Halifax-based Arts Engage Symposium. He highlighted how placemaking generates new relationships in a community by creating places to gather and animating public space with nature, art and people.
Some would say the product of placemaking is as important as the process. It is in collaborating, learning and sharing ideas that community is built. Through creating art we can find common ground and physically represent our neighbourhood values in the landscape.
How will Neighbourhood Earth do this? By working with youth groups, recreation centres and local artists this summer and fall. What can you expect if you participate? Workshops, events, team-building skills, local food, leadership training, learn about our land, get your hands dirty in urban gardening and create ecology-themed art projects that flaunt our public spaces! To get involved in contact Community Environmental Educator Kristen Rae Finley at firstname.lastname@example.org