Presidio of San Francisco (December 9, 2010) -- From fairy-sized houses to full-sized palm teepees, kids and adults alike will get a chance to create their own outdoor art at the Presidio's next Create with Nature family day, Saturday, December 11 from 10 am to 2 pm at Rob Hill Campground.
The Create with Nature program offers families a fun, hands-on experience making works of art from the natural materials found in the park. Participants can use their imagination to transform park materials like pine cones, leaves, branches, water and stone into forts, birdhouses, and other sculptures in the spirit of the Presidio's outdoor art installations, Presidio Habitats, and Andy Goldsworthy's Spire and Wood Line.
"This is the most creative fort I ever made," said 7-year old Jonah at a Create with Nature day last summer.
"This is so great for both adults and kids. I can't believe I made a fort today!" added Jonah's mother with the same sense of wonder as her son.
"The Presidio is uniquely able to offer an experience like this," says Damien Raffa, education and volunteer program manager for the Presidio Trust. "We have an abundance of material from our reforestation, cultural landscape maintenance, and habitat restoration programs. The material all comes from the park and it stays in the park. Since the Presidio is a national park in the City, people can have a national park experience every day."
True to the national park principle "leave no trace," the pieces are dismantled at the end of the day and everything is removed from the site. Compostable material is returned to its origins in the park.
"Beyond the art itself, another really beautiful aspect of this program," says Raffa "is that it inherently fosters a sense of community. Families that don't even know each other show up, work together and create these wonderfully imaginative pieces. It's instant community building."
Inspired by the Presidio Habitats exhibition, Create with Nature days were originally envisioned as a special program accompanying the exhibit. With their success however, Raffa sees the birth of a new tradition that will endure beyond Habitats' closure next May. The program moves around the park from season to season allowing participants to experience different, special places in the park.
The next Create with Nature family day is scheduled for, Saturday December 11 from 10 am to 2 pm at Rob Hill Campground. The program is free and no reservation is required. Participants can drop-in anytime and stay as long as they want. In the event of rain, the program will be moved indoors.
Presidio Habitats is a site-based art exhibition celebrating the wild Presidio. It began with an invitation to an international group of artists, architects, and designers to submit a proposal for a temporary habitat sculpture serving a Presidio animal "client." From 25 submissions, eleven were selected to be created in the landscape. The projects€”diverse in their approach, material, and purpose€”are featured along trails, paths and roadways around the Presidio's Fort Scott District. Presidio Habitats is organized by the FOR-SITE Foundation in partnership with the Presidio Trust.
The Presidio Trust was established by the United States Congress in 1996 to administer the Presidio of San Francisco, an urban national park site that is located at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. The areas overseen by the Trust include expansive open space and spectacular views, a 300-acre historic forest, and rare and endangered plants and wildlife. The National Park Service oversees the coastal areas of the Presidio. The park comprises nearly 6 million square feet of buildings, including 469 historic structures that contribute to the Presidio's status as a National Historic Landmark District. The Presidio is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area."