During our Earth Week from April 14th– 22nd, we invited Friends to join us visiting natural sites, engaging in conversation about our relationship to Earth, and immersing ourselves in information that will help us strengthen our awareness of the natural world. Our newsletter has personal pieces on Earth Week as well as past works.
Thursday, 14 April
Living Room Dialogue: Shared Responsibility- for decreasing environmental impact.
Everyone came to our usual venue for the event, our own living room at Network for Peace. The main question for the evening was “How can we bring people together to share responsibility for our ecological impact?” The highlight of this gathering was to engage in a conversation starting with “and” instead of “but,” which turned out to be quite challenging, and interesting. You can read more about this here.
We discussed topics like wages, current political standpoints, fracking, carbon emissions and the food industry among many others.
Friday, 15 April
Plein Air (outdoor observation painting) at the Highline
Plein Air, in definition is “denoting or in the manner of a 19th-century style of painting outdoors, or with a strong sense of the open air, that became a central feature of French impressionism.” For Earth Week, we wanted to explore our creativity while connecting with nature as well. Our friends Marjorie and Carol, along with our Network for Peace members Kathleen, Virginia and Maisha met at The Highline, located in busy Chelsea. The combination of the gorgeous skyline surrounding us, and all the green that led us through the promenade was quite fascinating. Our staff member, Maisha gave us the basics on how to do an observation painting, after which we all decided to go to a spot that we thought to be suitable to paint out. It was a gorgeous day where we got to be outdoors in an urban setting, all the while doing something colorful and social.
Monday, 18 April
American Museum of Natural History, where we viewed “The Secret World Inside You” exhibit.
Our friends Michael, Martha, Marjorie, Peggy and Carol and Network for Peace members Kathleen, Virginia and Maisha met at the American Museum of Natural History to attend the exhibition The Secret World Inside You. This special exhibition was all about the microbiome, the living organisms that live inside and on us. These living cells are very much responsible for our health and well being, contrary to the belief that every bacteria is out there to harm us. It was great to come across information on how every human being is introduced to their personal microbiome as soon as they pass through their mother’s birth canal. Another interesting fact to learn about was how the trillions of bacteria and other microbes living within us can also largely affect our behavior and mental health.
Wednesday, 20 April
Imani Garden and meet with Greg Todd in Crown Heights
Kathleen, Virginia, Fiona, Maisha, Luke, Marjorie and Peggy visited the Imani Gardens in Crown Heights, Brooklyn to meet Greg Todd, one of the organizers for the garden. It was a gorgeous community garden, with a large amount of amenities sufficient enough for a small scale urban homestead- raised beds for vegetables and herbs, a green house, rain water harvesting system, a chicken coop as well as an elaborate composting system. A large willow tree towers over the plot, and can be spotted from blocks away in the neighborhood. It was unfortunate to learn about one of the plots (the one with the tree) in Imani being sold off and the tree facing the possibility of being chopped down.
Your action means a lot to help save this tree. Please take a look here to see what you can do!
We had a blast this Earth Week. It was a splendid balance of learning, travelling and socializing. We thank those who joined us and made it memorable.