Art&Nature with Casa Chirilagua mentors' program


I am a 20-year park naturalist and illustrator at Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria. I have had a long relationship with Cara Chirilagua as an art and nature teacher for the Kids' Club after school program and the adult-child Mentor program. I would like to request $1,500 to fund four Art&Nature excursion classes for the two Mentor program groups: elementary students and teenagers. Each group of ~25 participants (15 students and typically 10 mentors) would be given field art kits to keep and use during two excusions each: a nature journaling hike at Huntley Meadows Park and a dip-netting adventure, with drawing instruction using the field art kits, at Dora Kelly Stream Park in Alexandria City. 30 students enrolled with the Casa Chirilagua Mentor program would benefit from these classes by receiving outdoor art and science instruction in beautiful natural settings, with their mentors, and receive art materials to use, again and again. These classes involve at least a mile of hiking, while getting kids learning outside (away from screens), in fresh air, with their mentor-adult, who has a committed concern for their academic and life long success. We hope these field trips, and the art materials they provide, will be a template for future mentor-child outings in nature.This project aligns with the Alexandria City Children and Youth Master Plan 2014 ( in Goals 1.1.1, 1.2.2, 2.1.2, 2.2.2, 2.2.4, and 3.1.1 by providing high quality, after school, enrichment instruction and social interaction that also combats childhood obesity. All of Casa Chirilagua's Mentor student participants are from low-income, ESL families who reside in the City of Alexandria.Adriana Gomez, the director of the Casa Chirilagua Mentor Program, and I have already discussed dates for these trips, as follows:June 13, 2015 Huntley Meadows Park Nature Journaling with younger group: students will learn to keep a nature journal and draw natural subjects while hiking in a freshwater wetland.June 17, 2015 Huntley Meadows Park Nature Journaling with teenage groupJuly 11, 2015 Dora Kelly Park Dip-Net and Drawing with younger group: students will use their field art kits to draw stream creatures that they will net and identify in a local freshwater stream. 1/2 mile hike is involved.July 18, 2015 Dora Kelly Park Dip-Net and Drawing with teenage groupThe funding would purchase 50 field art kits and 15 dip nets (My own teaching salary will be donated): 50 Field Art Kits @ $16/each = $850, 15 dip nets @$20 each with shipping: $1,550 


Good Luck with another

Good Luck with another wonderful project.

Post new comment

  • You may embed videos from the following providers bliptv, vimeo, youtube. Just add the video URL to your textarea in the place where you would like the video to appear, i.e.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <iframe> <object> <embed>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.