The Procession is a magical creative community event honoring our relationship to the natural world and one another. It offers an educational opportunity to learn more about other species, a forum to express one’s creativity by making masks, costumes and puppets that express the spirit of those species, and a chance to participate in community celebration while building a Triangle tradition. The procession was an integral part of the Durham Earth Day Festivals from 2003-2008.
“The Triangle Procession of the Species proved to be an incredible addition to the Durham Earth Day Festival. This dynamic and energetic pageant full of intricately designed masks and costumes succinctly captured the spirit and meaning of Earth Day. What a fantastic way to bring the community together to celebrate and honor our environment!”
Alison Fiori, Waste Reduction Coordinator & Earth Day CoordinatorCity of Durham, Dept. of Solid Waste Management
“What a delight to work on the Procession of the Species! I loved seeing folks jump in wholeheartedly, but what was even more exciting was to see the children, some hesitant, make a mask, put it on and become TRANSFORMED into their creation.”
Ellen Cassilly , Ellen Cassilly Architect, Inc, Durham
“The Procession was a delightful, fun, educational event for our community. What fun it was to gather with a diverse, intergenerational group of people to share ideas for and then create inventive, whimsical animal costumes. Even more fun was the parade itself – an exhilarating display of puppets and people in colorful costumes. What a wonderful way to educate people, especially children – our future planetary caretakers- about the importance of considering our relationship with plant and animal species.”
Sue Anne Solem, Enrichment Specialist, Glenwood Elementary School, Chapel Hill
“The Procession of the Species provided a terrific opportunity for our entire school to work on a community-oriented project. Each class was able to integrate the arts visual arts, drama, and music into their earth science study of plants and animals. All 120 students made a costume, and because of their delight and pride in their work, 50% of the students turned out for the City of Durham Earth Day Festival, along with their parents. In addition, we had our own whole school Procession the day before from school to Central Park, led by 2 Eartheal volunteers. One of our teachers commented that it was a touching moment for him, feeling a real sense of pride and school unity. We also received many comments from people who work in the businesses along Foster Street that seeing the children in costume parading down the street brightened their business day and enhanced their sense of being part of a great community.”
Juliet Jensen, Art teacher, Central Park School for Children, Durham
“The Procession of the Species is extremely important for Earth Day because it makes people stop and think about how we are handling the Earth. It’s a great mechanism whereby people’s memories are jogged, hopefully into some kind of action. The Procession reminds us to be good caretakers and stewards of the Earth and that it is up to us.”
Alice Sharpe, Downtown Development Coordinator, City of Durham
“Participating in The Procession in 2004Â was a very enriching experienceÂ for my samba band. This event provided a great opportunity for artists toÂ gather in community and express themselves through music, dance andÂ fabulous visual creations.Â The feeling of community connection and pride in artist expression was very strong.”
Cathy Kielar, founder, Music Explorium
” Delight is one word that describes the feeling of participating in the Procession of the Species. As artists and activists come together to celebrate the spirit of each of the animals in color, texture, movement, and dance, it is simply exhilarating.”
Jane Bergman, Art teacher, Saint Mary’s School, Hillsborough
Restore Corps utilizes environmental education and ecosystem restoration as a vehicle for creating healthy people, communities and preserving natural habitats and a positive balance among all three. Components of the program include:
- PARTNERING – adults with young people in a mutual learning relationship
- ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION – learning from nature
- ECOLOGICAL RESTORATION – restoring and caretaking natural areas for wildlife and people and the health of our ecosystems
We created and managed a trail building project at Schoolfield Elementary School in Danville, VA that engaged students, teachers, and parents in creating an outdoor classroom on 5 acres of woods that included constructing trails, bridges, benches, and birdhouses as the setting for environmental education.
Earth Action Fest was an annual Earth Day event developed and co-sponsored by Eartheal, SURGE, Summit Performance Systems, and a team of dynamic volunteers. Held in Chapel Hill in 2005 and Carrboro in 2006, it included a street march, community participatory events (stream clean-up and bike awareness), and a festival with speakers, music, and vendors offering innovative green and sustainable products and services.
In 2008 the Earth Action Fest was turned over to the Town of Chapel Hill Parks & Recreation Department. They have continued and expanded Earth Action Day every year since then. For information of next year’s event go to: http://www.ci.chapel-hill.nc.us/index.aspx?page=506