After the bell rang to mark the end of the school day on Monday, several students headed to the art room on the third floor at Roosevelt High School with some important work to complete and a deadline to meet.
Various sculptures and mobiles and other works of art were set up around the room as the members of the Roosevelt Art Club began putting on finishing touches and doing final assembly to their works that are being displayed throughout Des Moines.
It is one piece of a partnership between the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, Friends of Des Moines Parks, Science Center of Iowa, Blank Park Zoo along with Des Moines Public Schools to celebrate Earth Day throughout the month of April.
Throughout the month of April, a ‘Pollinator Parade’ scavenger hunt is taking place at nine different locations throughout the city. Visitors will find the artwork created by Roosevelt students along with informational signs on pollinators. Locate the artwork and pollinator Q&A signs at each site, snap a photo, and share on social media using one of the following hashtags: #dmpollinatorparade, #earthday, #dmearthdaytour, #dmlovespollinators or #earthdayeveryday. A prize drawing will be held for people who participate with a chance to win free tickets, memberships, and more from the partner attractions.
Mary Pat LaMair is an art teacher at Roosevelt who has been helping the students prepare for this project, and on Tuesday morning she was at Gray’s Lake installing one of her student’s works on a tree stump set aside for the occasion. She notes the school’s art club has been important for students as life slowly returns to “normal” from the pandemic.
“The Roosevelt Art Club has been exactly what many of us have needed during this time of uncertainty. Students came together quickly to form a close-knit group working on the specific task of creating sculptures for area parks and attractions based on the theme of pollinators,” said LaMair. “They engaged in researching local pollinators and exploring a variety of materials and techniques. We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Friends of Des Moines Parks and the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden to showcase our artwork and promote education and enrichment in our community.”
Sarah Lohmeier, Executive Director of Friends of the Des Moines Parks, explains how the scavenger hunt will benefit our community: “Leading up to Earth Day we wanted to give park visitors another reason to get outside and enjoy the parks and trails. The chance to partner with the Botanical Garden and Des Moines Public Schools art students was also such an exciting component to this event. We have such an incredible park system and it’s the Friends of DM Parks hope to provide recreational opportunities that can be experienced and enjoyed by all.”
Members of the Roosevelt Art Club, and where you can find their works this month, are:
- Jay Fields and Tyler Jones: mobile and sculpture at Union Park
- Lucy Swauger: Botanical Gardens
- Ava Scott: mobile at Principal Park
- Aviva Adams-Wilk: sculpture at Brenton Skating Plaza
- Lillie Howard: birdhouse at the Science Center of Iowa
- Unity Bramhall: sculpture at the Blank Park Zoo
- Dominique Amodeo: sculpture at Gray’s Lake
In addition to the Pollinator Parade scavenger hunt, the Botanical Garden, another partner in the Earth Month activities, has planned various virtual activities for adults and children as well as a “free day” on April 17.
More information regarding Pollinator Parade and a detailed schedule of Earth Month activities head to dmbotanicalgarden.com/earthmonth.