Toledo Unveils Urban Forest Project

This Saturday, the Urban Forest Project – an outdoor exhibition of urban-forest themed banners designed by local artists – opened in Toledo. Following in the footsteps of New York, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Denver, Albuquerque, and San Francisco, the Toledo Urban Forest Project will display banners in public spaces to raise awareness about the importance of trees and forested space within the city. At the end of the exhibition, the banners are recycled into tote bags to be sold to benefit a local urban forestry or arts initiative – in this case, the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo’s Young Artists at Work Program (YAAW).

You can take a look at the beautiful and thought-provoking work represented on the banners at the project’s website. Anyone in the Toledo area should look out for them hanging on light poles!

The Art of Blackberry: UW Students Transform Invasives into Sculpture

Students in the UW’s School of Forest Resources combined restoration with art for a project in Jon Bakkar’s “Introduction to Restoration Ecology” course.

Amy Lambert, who teaches a class on art and restoration at UW Bothel, led the students in an environmental art project using blackberry canes they cleared from the Union Bay Natural Area. Students from her own class also worked at the site and created their own works of art from the blackberry canes. “The activities were about removing invasive species and transforming the material into sculptural forms,” Lambert says. “In addition, performance art was used to call attention to the historic context of Union Bay Natural Area. By engaging in inventive strategies, students demonstrated their concerns for the natural environment while challenging public perceptions about the role humans have played in shaping the landscape.”

Read more about this collaboration in the UW’s University Week.