When enjoying the view over the bow of your kayak, while noiselessly gliding through wildlife habitat, do you sometimes ponder, with little faith, that the youth of today will grow up to cast votes or make laws that keep and improve that view for their children & grandchildren?
Just this morning while watching a pair of wild ducks rafting down the stream near our home, a doubt was cast in my mind. Will they have tales of manatees, sea terns and great blue herons to share on our forums? Hear the call of loons, the cry of gulls? Watch the silhouettes of a formation of pelicans against a moonlit sky?
Then this picture crossed my desk. "Spirit Bird" by Jose Turrubiartes. Jose painted this while a student at Bolivar Middle School participating in a not for profit program of Galveston, Texas called "Artist Boat". Eco-Art Workshops are just one of its efforts, extending kayak field trips that introduce youth to the challenges facing the local ecology.
Evolving from a program established in 2001, Artist Boat provides youth personal encounters with the beautiful natural settings of Galveston Bay and Galveston Island. Students are supplied with materials and instruction to help them record their impressions and experience by taking paint to paper and through a variety of other means of creative expression.
Walking trips are also a part of the experience but those of us who love the view from the water made possible from a vessel able to skate quietly in only 6 inches of water can appreciate why sit-on-top and open-cockpit kayaks are a craft of choice.
On board to guide these youth in internalizing these values are a team with impressive credentials in the arts and sciences.
Marine scientists, ACA Instructors, Eco-Art experts, even a skilled craftsman to teach the art of kayak construction. One of their main hopes is that by combining art and science in a hands-on experience, students will develop good communication skills about environmental issues facing the Houston and Galveston area.
Field trips follow a two hour Eco-Art Workshop designed to prepare students to get the most out of their Eco-Art Adventure. Then it is off to Armand Bayou, Cypress Swamp, or Christmas Bay for kayaking; or a larger water vessel for big groups may take them exploring on the Trinity River or in the Houston Ship Channel.
Exploring on foot is a part of the Galveston Island State Park or San Jacinto State Historical Park adventure. Artist Boat posts a calendar of events and programs on their website as a downloadable pdf file.
We encourage you to take a look at their example as an organization doing great things for its local environment. For those of you lucky enough to live in the area check into this program for yourselves and let us know what you think here at TopKayaker.net by email or on our forums. We would also love to hear about such inspiring youth programs utilizing kayaks in your area.
2415 Avenue K, Galveston, TX 77550
(409) 770-0722 firstname.lastname@example.org
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