Through a D.C. Urban Forestry grant, funded by the U.S. Forest Service, Green Spaces for DC conducted a youth-led PhotoVoice project. The theme is “if trees could talk.” PhotoVoice engages participants using photography as a way to discuss the circumstances that the images represent as a means of personal, community, and social change.
Ten young adults and ten late elementary and middle school youth are participating in this eight-week project, managed by GSDC Director, Autumn Saxton-Ross. After being taught the basics of photography and how trees are important to our environment, the youth were given a digital camera for a week to take pictures around what they have learned. When they turned in the cameras, we reviewed the pictures with them and asked why they took each picture and how it relates to the theme. It’s a process of learning how pictures can help create change.
As part of the project, a variety of speakers interact with the youth. We’ve had an engineer speak on storm water management and conduct an experiment to help the youth understand how trees and green space play a part in managing storm water. A master garden has instructed them on how to conduct tree maintenance.
- To create an awareness of the importance of trees in an urban environment,
- Give youth in Wards 7 and 8 opportunities to engage with members their community and to voice their perspective, and
- To show the utility of PhotoVoice as a viable method to promote urban forestry.
Join us and the youth at an end-of-program exhibit of the photographs at the District Architecture Center. We are inviting elected officials, community leaders, and neighbors to meet the youth and engage with them. We want to have the youth share their understanding of the process of change and talk to them about the issues, how policies impact trees, and what changes are needed.
Read more about this project and the views of GSDC Project Manager, Autumn Saxton-Ross.
Please join us on July 31 to celebrate the youth accomplishments and support the work of GSDC. Donations are encouraged.