If was a beautiful fall day filled with art, culture, science, nature – and some brilliant bird calls from both Dr. Drew Lanham and a few students from Wellstone International High School in Minneapolis.
The event was part of Great River Greening’s Field Learning for Teens program, which has inspired more that 1,200 at- risk students through hands-on restoration activities and connections with mentors with environmentally-based careers.
On this autumn day, the students tested water quality of a stream feeding the Minnesota River and spent the day with Dr. Lanham, an ornithologist, Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Master Teacher at Clemson University, and author of “The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature,” published by Milkweed Editions.
Dr. Lanham read from his book, which describes his experience as a nature-loving person of color, a combination many people view as an oddity. And he encouraged the students to think about what problems they want to solve in the world.
Wellstone students develop global competency through rigorous coursework and acceleration in English language acquisition. Many are new Americans and speak multiple languages.
“This time with you has been the highlight of my trip. I hope you know, this is a special group. We are from all parts of the world and gathered in peace.”
-Drew Lanham speacking to the group.
The Field Learning for Teens program is made possible with support from 3M Foundation, Andersen Corporate Foundation, Best Buy Children’s Foundation, Capitol Region Watershed District, Ecolab Foundation, McNeely Foundation, Mortensen Family Foundation, Subaru of America Foundation, and Tennant Foundation.
Special thanks to Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Milkweed Editions. Photo:nimmerphoto.com