Tiny Great Outdoors Festival Set for Sat, April 23 at Quincy St. Park

Celebrate Arbor Day at the Quincy Street open space with nature walks, art projects, tree planting and interactive activities for people of all ages


SOMERVILLE – The Somerville Arts Council and the Somerville Office of Sustainability and Environment present the Tiny Great Outdoors Festival, a free Arbor Day and SustainaVille event, at the city’s tiniest “urban wild,” Quincy Street Open Space, 16 Quincy St., from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday, April 23, 2017. (Rain date: April 30.) Join scientists on tiny hikes in the park exploring wildlife here in Somerville. Learn how global warming is changing the environment, even in our backyards. Help plant a tree and take home a free seedling, and participate in activities, games, and art.
The idea for the Tiny Great Outdoors Festival was dreamed up by Greg Cook, the freelance event planner behind Somerville’s Pity Party in 2015 and Tiny Tall Ships Festival in 2016. He created the festival to celebrate “urban wilds,” a term for what are often small pockets of nature within our cities. The Quincy Street Open Space is one of these urban nature parks. Located on the site of a burned down house, it’s been reclaimed as a tiny sustainable woodland landscape created in a dense, residential urban neighborhood.
The scientists and wildlife experts will lead visitors on tiny hikes through the park during the event include:
· Bryan Hamlin, former chairman of the Friends of the Middlesex Fells and past president of the New England Botanical Club, who has helped lead a census of all the plants in the Fells
· Sasha Vivelo, a Ph.D. student in Boston University’s Department of Biology researching how the growth of mushrooms and other fungi affect ecosystems and climate
· Jef Taylor, of Boston’s Urban Nature Walks group, a naturalist specializing in urban wildlife, bugs, mushrooms, creepy crawlies, and weird stuff, who has been leading hikes around these parts since 2003
· Rachel Taylor, the City of Somerville’s Animal Control Officer and Inspector
· Vanessa Boukili, an urban forestry and landscape planner and conservation agent for the City of Somerville
Visitors to the festival can plant trees with City of Somerville Urban Forestry and Landscape Planner Vanessa Boukili, paint animals with Somerville artist Johanna Finnegan-Topitzer, try out worm-bin composting with Groundwork Somerville. Learn how we can reduce our carbon output and live more sustainably by playing educational games presented by the city’s SustainaVille program. Somerville artist Rachel Mello will exhibit art depicting bees, ants, and inch-worms made from recycled advertising banners to address reuse and recycling.
For questions about the festival, please contact Special Events Manager, Nina Eichner at 617-625-6600 ext. 2998. For press inquiries, photos or interviews contact Greg Cook, freelance event producer, 781-388-2665.
Individuals with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication, written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures, in order to access the programs and activities of the City of Somerville or to attend meetings, should contact the City’s Director of Human Services, Nancy Bacci, at 617-625-6600 x2250 or nbacci@somervillema.gov.


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