Artist Katherine Wimble Fox and the South King County Cultural Coalition (SoCoCulture)Â announced this week an open call to the public to contribute to the crowd-sourced, online,Â interactive Forest for the Trees Storymap.
Participants locate their favorite tree(s) on aÂ map and upload an image and story of their tree(s). Forest for the Trees is meant toÂ inspire stewardship and awareness of our tree neighbors, attunement to nature,Â community sharing, and attachment to place. It will also become a record of the socialÂ value of trees in South King County communities.
This mapping project is funded by a Tech Specific artist grant from 4Culture. It is aÂ component of SoCoCulture’s Engaging Trees Initiative, and for autumn 2018,Â SoCoCulture is planning a tree-centric speaker series, supported by the Port of Seattle’sÂ Airport Community Ecology Fund, to encourage further participation in the project. NonprofitÂ partner support is provided by Pacific Bonsai Museum and the Highline HistoricalÂ Society.
As developers eye South King County’s plentiful undeveloped parcels, with chainsaws atÂ the ready, residents stand to lose cherished trees. The loss would be immense, asÂ people depend on the ecosystem services trees provide as producers of oxygen, shade,Â food, habitat, carbon storage, clean air, and clean water. In recognition of the ecologicalÂ and economic value of trees, King County has pledged to plant 1 Million Trees by 2020,Â and communities across south King County are initiating tree canopy surveys to mapÂ current canopy coverage from the air.
Down on the ground, trees provide a social value as well. People benefit from theÂ presence of trees, finding beauty, silence, respite, solace, shelter, fortitude, andÂ camaraderie. They are inspired by trees, responding with physical play, storymaking,
placemaking, and dreaming. Most people can recall at least one memorable experienceÂ involving a special tree or group of trees, and can tell a story about that experience.
Who Can Participate?
The Forest for the Trees storymap project is fully inclusive: anyone can contribute aÂ story in any language about any tree that matters to them (past or present) anywhere inÂ the world. Outreach activities and programming aimed at increasing participation will beÂ carried out in South King County, WA.
As South King County communities are steadily becoming more culturally diverse,Â Forest for the Trees is a way for newer communities, too, to make their mark on theÂ map, by introducing them to plants to facilitate familiarity and personal connections toÂ existing trees.
How Will Stories be Collected and What Will be Done with them?
The public can navigate to https://sococulture.org/
- Locate their tree on the map;
- Upload an image of their tree, and
- Upload a story about their tree.
Because the storymap can be publicly accessed anywhere via smartphone, people canÂ explore stories and contribute to the map at the site of their tree.Â Contributions to the map are public and will be stored on ESRIâ€˜s (the maker of theÂ Storymap app) server. Stories will accumulate on the Storymap for all to read andÂ explore.
To further strengthen the connections between people, place and trees, and toÂ encourage more contributions to the map, selected partner organizations will organizeÂ public programs in autumn 2018. As those programs are confirmed, they will be postedÂ online at https://sococulture.org/
About Katherine Wimble Fox
Katherine Wimble Fox is driven by the belief that experiential awareness can bondÂ people with place, connect communities, and support environmental sustainability. HerÂ art work converges on the intersection of art, environmentalism, and history throughÂ feminist practices defined as those that underscore participation, pluralism, embodiment,Â and contextualization. Katherine has collaborated on site-specific outdoor artÂ installations as a founding member of the Unearth Collective, plus landscapeÂ architecture projects with Hapa Collaborative, site-specific art installations withÂ Haddad|Drugan LLC, and currently works as the Communications Manager at theÂ Pacific Bonsai Museum in Federal Way, WA. She holds a Master’s degree in landscapeÂ architecture from the University of Washington, a post-baccalaureate graduate degreeÂ from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a B.S. in Forestry & WildlifeÂ resources from Virginia Tech.
The South King County Cultural Coalition (SoCoCulture) consists of local arts, heritageÂ and botanical organizations that have joined forces to promote a vibrant cultural life inÂ South King County. SoCoCulture provides advocacy, collaborative marketing, andÂ professional development opportunities for its members. To learn more aboutÂ SoCoCulture’s Engaging Trees Initiative, visit: https://sococulture.org/
4Culture provides funding and support for the cultural work that makes King CountyÂ vibrant. Arts 4Culture funds individual artists, artist groups, and arts organizations thatÂ provide access to art experiences for all King County residents and visitors.]]>