Leaf fireworks. Walking along the Park trails among wonders of nature and traces of memory

The Environmental Education Centres “Il Cielo di Indra” and “La luna al guinzaglio” have always carried out activities related to walking and green projects, investigating these topics through workshops aimed at exploring the surrounding environment. On many occasions they have been based on other themes such as poetry or geometry.

The two centres, together, have been exploring the relationship among natural environment, botany and memory, between plant and cultural biodiversity. Hence the idea of “Leaf fireworks”, a participation project which, through walking, traces’ collection and workshops – as well as a travelling exhibition – intends to explore artistic and narrative techniques through the attractiveness of botany and popularise the biodiversity of the Pollino National Park. The project has four main actions:

  1. Walks, exploration and collection of stories and signs (mainly leaves)
  2. Production of printed products from local plants to create “botanical posters” (and from these, postcards and bookmarks) using the screen-printing technique
  3. Setting up of the exhibition “Leaf fireworks” with botanical posters
  4. Travelling exhibition

The project has two main dimensions: education and communication. On the one hand, it aims to enhance biodiversity knowledge and protection, and on the other hand it intends to make people interested in it through an editorial line.

We have started by exploring Magnano woodlands in the Pollino Park, to understand why that site is protected. With the participants, we have discussed the concept of biodiversity, which is not just a list of species in an environment, but much more. When we talk about biodiversity, we should of course be referring to the local flora and fauna, but also to the relationships among species and between them and the environment, not forgetting the human species, the one we commonly consider at the top of the tree of life. During the exploration, the collection of traces (mainly leaves) has been essential. At a later meeting, participants have been invited to play an active role, creating screen-printed representations accompanied by words. All of this has been included in the exhibition and editorial line which will be made available for the community.  The entire editorial line (posters, postcards, bookmarks) meets quality and environmental sustainability criteria, both from the point of view of the content and the materials used. The posters are a sort of replicable “prototype” designed and created by the participants, not just for the project, but to be used more broadly to raise awareness on the value of diversity.

The travelling exhibition can be visited at the venues of the two centres (ll Cielo di Indra and  La luna al guinzaglio), as well as at the offices of the Pro Loco of Latronico.