Tree’s company: Everglades student photography project
More than 500 local adults and children volunteered their time on October 25 to help the Everglades at the Marshall Foundation’s Eigth annual Cypress Harvest & Student Photography Project last weekend.
The crowd, which included families, individuals, scout troops and community groups, collected 175 pounds of cypress seeds at the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in Boynton Beach. The seeds of the native, wetland tree will be germinated into saplings at a local nursery, and then planted to help restore the Florida Everglades.
Volunteers’ efforts were captured on film by 60 students taking part in the Marshall Foundation’s Student Photography Project. This unique project, held in conjunction with the Cypress Harvest, aimed to expose underprivileged youth to nature photography.
“The Harvest is, by far, our most popular outdoor volunteer event of the year and this is our best turnout ever. People certainly seem to be getting back in touch with nature,” observed Josette Kaufman, executive director of the non-profit Arthur R. Marshall Foundation. The Harvest is held annually and is completely free of charge to participants.
Also taking place Saturday was the Student Photography Project, which was sponsored by a grant from the Palm Beach County Cultural Council. Participating children learned basic picture-taking skills from experienced mentors and then were allowed to photograph people and nature at the Cypress Harvest. One photo from each child will eventually be framed and exhibited at a variety of locations throughout Palm Beach County.
“The goal of the Photography Project is to provide young people with a positive outdoor experience in the Everglades while teaching them the valuable skill of nature photography. We’d like to help them learn to love the wetland wilderness in their own backyards,” said Kaufman.
The students were recruited from local schools and after-school programs that quality for “Title I” status, meaning more than half the children attending are eligible to receive free and reduced-price lunches. They worked with digital, film and video cameras.
Join Marshall Foundation for the River of Grass Gala on December 6, at The Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach, for an elegant celebration of the Everglades featuring dinner, dancing, live and silent auctions and live entertainment.
For more information, visit www.artmarshall.org.
Volunteers of all ages got creative in their efforts to collect native cypress seeds.
Marshall Foundation Advisory Board member Allen Trefry collects seeds from high atop a cypress tree.