The children of Junior NatureSketch spent their Saturday morning and afternoon learning about ravine and wetland ecosystems at Evergreen Brick Works. Joining us to share their expertise was Lauren Moretto from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Jackie Hamilton of the Toronto & Region Conservation Authority.
The Don Valley Brick Works was an active industrial quarry and brickyard from 1889 to 1984. After its closure, the scarred landscape was abandoned until the 1990's when work began to rehabilitate the site. Today, it's a healthy ecosystem supporting species like Purple Martins, Snapping Turtles, frogs, snakes and much more.
Our morning session featured a wetland plant show and tell with Lauren, followed by the children learning how to compose images of the pond in their sketchbook with the aid of viewfinders. Keeping with the viewfinder theme, Lauren brought out her vintage Polaroid and took a photo of the pond which we compared with a photo from same spot several months ago to see what’s changed.
In the afternoon, we met up with Jackie and toured the talus slope of the Moore Park Ravine which rises above the Brick Works. Jackie explained the connection between the ravine and quarry pond while bringing us to a location where we could observe water seepage happening through the face of the ravine itself.
Along the way, the artists stopped to make sculptures from the rocks, branches and discarded bricks found on the trail. We ended the day back where we began, and finished the class by making blind contour drawings of pine cones.
A huge thanks to Lauren Moretto, Jackie Hamilton and our volunteer Jan Kraus! The NatureSketch Club had a great time learning about these very important habitats and watching turtles was a lot of fun too!
Up next, our last class before the Student Art Show!