Bed Stuy-based Earth Center Celebrates Earth Week

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Collage: Joanna Williams

Bedford Stuyvesant’s Magnolia Tree Earth Center is celebrating Earth Week this year with a variety of activities aimed to increase community awareness of urban ecology and the environment; MTEC programs for students and schools and its creative resources for STEM program administrators and teachers, April 19th through April 28, in Central Brooklyn.

MTEC’s community program officially kicks off on National Earth Day at the Macon Public Library, Sunday, April 22, 12:00noon-5:00pm, with salutes to the late environmentalists Hattie Carthan (1900-1984) and Maathai Wangari (1940-2011) by respectively Yonnette Fleming of the Hattie Carthan Community Garden and Zakia Henderson-Brown, nationally known poet; open readings of nature poetry led by poet Gha’il Rhodes Benjamin; a neighborhood nature photography workshop by Barry L. Mason, and exhibitions of MTEC/PROJECT GREEN GLOBAL photographs of previous Earth Month programs over the past 10 years.

It closes the week on Saturday, April 28 the month with it participation in Public School 21/ Crispus Attucks School’s dedication of a Magnolia Tree to the beloved educator Adelaide Sanford; MTEC ecology-related learning activities; and the premiere of Brooklyn’s first ecology song, “Like an Oak Tree” and “Planting Our Future” composed by former NYC Parks arts and recreation employee Larry Banks.

At Macon Library, Tributes TO EARTH WOMEN, TREE ACTIVISTS

Hattie Carthan (1900-1984) & Wangari Maathai (1940-2011)

Location:  Dionne-Mack-Harvey African American Heritage Room

MACON LIBRARY – 361 Lewis Avenue – Brooklyn at the corner of Macon Street

1:30p-2:30p

Yonnette Fleming will speak to Hattie Carthan and her legacy as manifested in The Hattie Carthan Community Garden, the Farmer’s market and, of course the Tree. (Guarding this oasis of farming, gardening and land people are some 1500 trees, a 1960’s planting originated by Carthan: she martialed 100 block associations to work with her in this effort. And the legacy still lives on in Farmer Yon’s works for the past 16 years.

3:00p-4:00p

Zakia Henderson-Brown’s tribute will be a reading of her nature poems in tribute to Wangari Muta Maathai, the internationally renowned environmental political activist and Nobel Laureate, whose legacy continues to thrive, and inspire others to work to make the world a better place

Other April 22 Earth Day Sunday activities include:

Nature Poetry Readings: In the small meeting room, downstairs, there will be group readings of the nature poems of famous writers, including Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, Anne Spencer; selections from Camille T. Dungy’s Black Nature: Four Centuries of African-American Nature Poetry and invited Brooklyn writers sharing original poetry and prose of published or unpublished works, including journals. Mr. Greaves from his “Sycamore Tree” children’s book and Mr. Fred L. Price, selecting nature poems from his upcoming book, are confirmed to read.

Nature Photography: Capturing the Beauty Around Us, a workshop led by artist Barry L. Mason, Horace Mann arts instructor and mural art leader for the Magnolia Tree Earth Center of Bedford Stuyvesant, will begin at 2:30 inside the library with a 15-minute talk by the photographer-artist followed by a walk down Lewis Avenue to the Fulton Park. Cameras, I-Phones or sketch pads are necessary for this session.