Cooley Landing: In-the-field, July 2015
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Exploring Cooley Landing with the Community
Exploring Cooley Landing with the Community

During the month of July, over 140 people participated in activities led by art and science educators from the City of Palo Alto and me. On Tuesdays we were joined by Girls to Women, a non-profit that supports the healthy development of school-age girls from low-income, single-parent, and immigrant families in East Palo Alto and Acterra and Youth Community Service. On Saturdays we invited the general public.

Youth with their Creative Ecology Field Notebooks
Creative Ecology Field Notebooks

Everyone who showed up was given a Creative Ecology Field Notebook and pencil; they were encouraged to record their observations through drawing and writing.

Youth using magnifying glasses to observe and record what they saw
Art: Looking Small

Art educators from the Palo Alto Art Center guided participants in two different art activities: Looking Small and Looking Big. In Looking Small, participants used magnifying glasses to examine the plants and animals around them and to record what they saw and experienced in their field notebooks.

Using mat boards to frame a bigger view
Art: Looking Big

In Looking Big, participants used a view finder (picture mat) to frame a distant vista. They then drew that vista in their field notebook.

Using microscopes and our eyes to observe what's in the mud and water at Cooley Landing
Science: What’s living in the mud and water at Cooley Landing?

Science educators from the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo guided participants in two different science activities: looking at mud and water; and plants and birds. Participants investigated the water and mud of Cooley Landing with their eyes and microscopes to find out what plankton and small animals live there.  They recorded what they saw in their field notebooks.

Girl recording her scientific observations at Cooley Landing
Science: Plants and Birds of Cooley Landing

Participants used binoculars to observe birds around Cooley Landing and were given clue cards to help them find four native wetlands plants living at Cooley Landing. They were invited to record their observations in pictures and/or words in their field notebooks.

Creating Land Art with the Community at Cooley Landing
Temporary Land Art Installation

I invited everyone to work with me on creating a temporary land art installation marking the former shoreline of Cooley Landing with blue plastic survey whiskers, hammered into the dirt with 5” nails. To learn more about this installation, click here.