The Great Hall at One Hundred River Street Hosts Art and Science Exhibit "Our River Runs Through It: How We Connect With The Black River."

posted Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Citizen science meets art, with a touch of whimsy thrown in for good measure! For seven weeks this summer, The Great Hall at One Hundred River Street hosts an exhibit by the Black River Action Team entitled "Our River Runs Through It: How we connect with the Black River." Everyone is invited to Opening Night on Friday, June 14th from 5-7pm to browse the displays, enter to win a prize, and enjoy some delectable munchies courtesy of the students and parents of Riverside Middle School as well as sandwiches and cookies from Artisan Eats Vermont of Hartland, VT.

The exhibit will feature a variety of displays, including:

  • The volunteers of the Springfield Art Gym showcase a delightfully interactive "weeping willow tree" imagined and created specifically for this exhibit, illustrating the connection between land and water, tree and trout, roots and ripples.
  • One class of Riverside Middle School students explored the challenges of human interactions with streams and rivers as they sought ways to 'eco-engineer' and design a stream crossing to accommodate the needs of the water, wildlife, and humans.
  • Debi Barton Haverly displays some of her beautiful photographs and nature journal pages, showcasing some of the hidden gems of the Black River watershed and the inspirations that can be found in them.
  • Elm Hill School students learned all about the ecosystem and health of Mile Brook (aka Valley Street Brook) to ensure it is a suitable habitat for the brook trout they raised and released this spring, through the Trout In the Classroom project; students will also display the fish-themed quilt squares they have received through the TIC exchange program.
  • Another RMS class collected water quality samples to test Chester Brook for several parameters, and recorded information about the trees lining the banks of the brook. The excitement and involvement of the students is reflected in their work.
  • Local photographer Sydney Brink presents a selection of her serene and reflective landscape photos of the Black River in its seasonal finery.
  • Hand-built wooden kayaks take the floor with Stu Stocker's jig, photos and explanations of several of the steps he takes to create these beautiful watercraft so he, too, can get out on the water and connect with the Black River.
  • Fifth graders at Union Street School display their multi-faceted projects on the river, from making water wheels to exploring the underwater 'community.' They even wrote a special Black River ValleyQuest adventure connecting historic use of the river by early Springfield factories with the current need and desire to improve, protect, and maintain the quality of the water in the Black River. Copies of the Quest will be available on Opening Night.
  • The Black River Action Team showcases the many programs, projects, and special events they conduct to help everyone find a connection with the Black River. From paddling to tree planting, water quality monitoring to river cleanups, the BRAT welcomes people of all ages and walks of life to participate in being stewards of the watershed.

Opening Night is open to everyone; a free raffle ticket will be offered to all attendees. Additional tickets will be $1 each or 6 for $5. Prizes include several skin care gift baskets with Mary Kay products (courtesy of Beth Gray), a gorgeous hand-made live-edge serving tray by Tim Gagnier (value $95), a "bat box" hand-made by Randy Gray (ready to be painted and mounted to attract bats to your yard for "mosquito cleanup"), and a "camp fire special" featuring a bag of coffee from Flying Crow Coffee and s'mores fixings).

The exhibit runs through August 6th, so make plans to stop by and check it out. Parking at the Trout River Brewery off Pearl Street, or access The Great Hall during regular business hours of the Health Center at One Hundred River Street. For more information, visit The Great Hall at or the Black River Action Team at

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