October 10, 2016

ReAwakened Beauty: The Past, Present, and Future of the Jordan River

Students, teachers and artists-in-residence explore the riparian fringe of the river near Northwest Middle School. They learned to differentiate between native and invasive plant species, and how native species benefit essential animal life and how invasive species crowd out the native plants. A moment of reflection on a foot bridge over the Jordan River. Students gather at the base of a classic native 100-year-old Fremont Cottonwood tree along the Jordan River Parkway Trail near Northwest Middle School. They learned about how the tree is critical to a healthy riparian ecosystem. Students were taught to use journaling as a tool for studying the river. They took notes, wrote observations, and poems, taped leafs and clippings from river wetland plants, drew pictures and added photographs to their journals.
Students, teachers and artists-in-residence explore the riparian fringe of the river near Northwest Middle School. They learned to differentiate between native and invasive plant species, and how native species benefit essential animal life and how invasive species crowd out the native plants.|A moment of reflection on a foot bridge over the Jordan River.|Students gather at the base of a classic native 100-year-old Fremont Cottonwood tree along the Jordan River Parkway Trail near Northwest Middle School. They learned about how the tree is critical to a healthy riparian ecosystem.|Students were taught to use journaling as a tool for studying the river. They took notes, wrote observations, and poems, taped leafs and clippings from river wetland plants, drew pictures and added photographs to their journals.||| Students, teachers and artists-in-residence explore the riparian fringe of the river near Northwest Middle School. They learned to differentiate between native and invasive plant species, and how native species benefit essential animal life and how invasive species crowd out the native plants.|A moment of reflection on a foot bridge over the Jordan River.|Students gather at the base of a classic native 100-year-old Fremont Cottonwood tree along the Jordan River Parkway Trail near Northwest Middle School. They learned about how the tree is critical to a healthy riparian ecosystem.|Students were taught to use journaling as a tool for studying the river. They took notes, wrote observations, and poems, taped leafs and clippings from river wetland plants, drew pictures and added photographs to their journals.||| ||||||
By The West View

A CDEA Artists / Scholars-in-Residence Program

Between October 27, 2015 and May 19, 2016, a dedicated group of Northwest Middle School 7th graders and two of their teachers participated in a unique, after-school program titled, ReAwakened Beauty: The Past, Present, and Future of the Jordan River. Created by the Center for Documentary Expression and Art (CDEA), this place-based-learning program brought artists and ecologists into the school to guide students to explore the river through photography and writing and introduce them to native trees and shrubs. Northwest students joyously photographed the change of seasons along the river, followed beaver tracks, planted and labeled ten native species, and pondered the river’s mysteries and future potential.

The ReAwakened Beauty program at Northwest is part of a three-year (2014-17) environmental restoration and community education project being carried out by CDEA and its partners: River Restoration and the Jordan River Commission. Funded primarily by the Utah Division of Water Quality’s Willard Bay Mitigation Fund, the full program—titled the Lower Jordan River Education Outreach, Riparian Enhancement, and River Clean Up—aims to enhance the condition of the lowest downstream section of the Jordan River as it enters the Great Salt Lake and to get communities and schools involved with the long-term stewardship of this important area.