Creative Prompts for the Furth Wildlife Sanctuary Loop Trail

Open Air Arts Initiative

Creative prompts to engage with the outdoors! This interactive map focuses on the way non-human species MOVE through the landscape. At the various stops, we explore ways to recognize then translate movement through creative acts. Bring along art supplies for visual art interpretation. Feel free to dance along the trail as you explore and SING OUT to mimic bird song along the way. Posted signs along the trail offer guidance for analog engagement.


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Tag @openairarts on Instagram, #openairartsinitiative #openairarts
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Send your work to lee-lee <a> virtualvoices.org to add it to the interactive map!

List of Trail Prompts

Root catacombs
At this up-turned set of roots, think about how the roots grow down and around each other. As you walk along trail beyond this point, look at the exposed roots on the trail and how they intertwine with each other. Think about the exchange of nutrients that takes place between the networks of roots. This is the way trees communicate with each other and offer support for their community. Compose a poem inspired by what they may be saying.

Subterranean Apartment Complex
Take the spur trail down the hill towards the wetlands to find a network of 🐿️ tunnels stacked in the cascading roots of the surrounding trees. Imagine the structure of the interior spaces and make an architectural drawing of their homes.

Feasting Place
Chipmunk midden! Regular feasting occurs around this mossy stump. Do you see the network of holes tucked between the roots along this section of the trail? What do you think this family of chipmunks chatter about during their shared meals?

Old Beaver Dam
Do you see evidence of beaver chew? Beavers are considered a keystone species. How do beavers contribute to the ecosystem? Who do you think lives in these calm waters? Make a drawing of the structure and how it alters the flow of the water.

Goldthread
There is a big patch of goldthread skirting the stump. Can you imagine the web of orange roots growing just below the surface? Make a drawing of what you think this web looks like.

Follow the Flow
Pause by the stream side and follow the flow of the water. Who swims along this stream? Can you mimic the way they move through the water? Swim through space along the bank or create a gestural drawing inspired by their fluid movements.

Striped Maple Walk
Seeds are the method that rooted organisms move. Along this stretch, can you see how the striped maple walked along the trail? Can you imagine the movement of the helicopter seeds as they twirl through the air on a light breeze? Dance along the trail like a swirling seed or create a gestural sketch that conveys this movement.

Woodpecker Rhythms
Who do you think is eating this tree? How are smaller organisms feeding larger organisms? Do you hear hammering echoing through the trees in other parts of the forest? Can you produce a rhythm as quick as a woodpecker?

Split White Pine
This huge white pine split and part of the trunk fell to the ground. Certain animals scamper across the fallen trunk and up the living part of the tree, who are they? Can you mimic their quick movements? Look closely at the surface of the fallen part of the tree. There are other life forms who move slowly across and through the wood, turning it into rich humus. What do you think these creatures look like?

Stream Crossing
In some areas, the water flows fast through the stream passages. Other pockets in the stream offer a quiet space for rest. Can you spot any waterbugs in these quiet pools? Think of how they navigate the waters to survive without being washed away in the flow of the water. Look at the light and reflections on the surface of the calm pockets of water. Can you find patterns of bubbles floating on the top? Make a drawing of the patterns that you see.

Protective Thickets
Peer into the thickest thickets and feel the protection the provide for smaller animals. Who do you think is hiding in here? How do they weave their ways through the tangle of branches? Do you hear their songs? Can you sing a tune integrating their sounds?

Letterbox
Add a stamp of the beaver to one of your drawings, or use the beaver stamp as a starting point to make a new drawing.