Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Finding Their Park

Student artists from Westside High School, Newark, New Jersey found their park at Morristown! After viewing their Dream Rocket exhibit, these talented teens wanted to explore the site that inspired their art...they had a little fun in the process!

The Morristown Dream Rocket theme is Ingenuity in the Face of Adversity, and our Westside artists were especially creative with their interpretations of what that means.

Hiking the yellow trail from the Wick House
to the soldier huts with Ranger Gilson. 
Before students even visited our site, they were given a creative prompt which taught them about the Park's history, the Revolution War events we commemorate, and the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) who helped lay the groundwork for historical parks around the country. With this information and the guidance of their outstanding teacher, Ms. Patricia Marinaro, students collaborated to see their artistic visions materialize.

See their work on our Flickr Album
(keyword Westside High School):


Students were allowed to pick rhubarb with the gardener's
permission. Here they are visiting the Wick House,
stalks in hand.
Journals in hand, students set out to explore the resources that inspired their work. The framing narrative for the day was "assumption versus evidence" and this tool helped us analyze everything from historic landscapes and structures to park careers, preservation, and climate change.


Some questions we tackled...

Place Over Time

•What has happened here throughout time?

•How are we part of that history?

•How does understanding the past help us become more empathetic people?

•How will you mark your legacy?

Preserving Public Lands

Student explore the replica hut at the VC.
•What is natural and cultural stewardship?

•Why is it important? How can we help?

•What is involved in preserving and protecting landscapes and historic sites?

•What careers in science, public history, education, and engineering are available at parks?

Innovation in the Face of Adversity

•What is innovation?

•In what ways are you innovative in hard times?

•How do your struggles connect you with other people throughout time?

•How might you connect your story to the stories this park has to tell?

Making Preserved Landscapes Relevant

•What are the reasons a person might enjoy public lands?

•How might preserved landscapes be meaningful to people on a personal level?

Frog encounters.
Looking closely.

For four hours, students spent time immersed in the power of place. They spent time journaling, conducting science experiments, hiking, analyzing real world job scenarios, and exploring historic structures.

Ranger Gilson (a guest science educator from Gateway Parks) leads students
in a climate change simulation.

Sit spotting exercise.

Student posing with his work (his is in the center).

A little entertainment on the trails.

Thanks Ms. Marinaro for inspiring your talented troop and for helping them #FindTheirPark!

I think we might even have a few new recruits!

sit spotting and journal time

>The Dream Rocket exhibit runs now through Sept 4, 2017,
at our Jockey Hollow location.

✿ Big thanks to Ranger Kathryn Gilson and Ranger Abby Parsons!