In celebration of its 40th anniversary year, Barnstable Land Trust is launching its second annual Words in the Wild program on Earth Day, April 22, featuring four local poets whose site-specific poems are etched on cedar-plank trail signs at four BLT properties.
The cedar trail signs include a QR code connecting to audio recordings and other information about each poet. New this year are two free Art and Nature poetry workshops on Earth Day, April 22, and May 6, which are supported in part by grants from the Mid-Cape Cultural Council and the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod.
Words in the Wild 2023 inspiration can be discovered on the following BLT trails:
- Bansfield Meadow, Osterville: “A Window” by rose auslander
- Bell Farm, Cotuit: “Walking on History” by Lucile Burt
- Coombs Bog, Centerville: “Possibility” by Deirdre G. Callanan
- Lowell Park, Cotuit: “Lowell Park Woodlands Trail” by Robin Smith-Johnson
Two Art and Nature Poetry Workshops are also being offered free but registration is required:
- Saturday, April 22, at 10 a.m. with Deirdre Callanan, 2023 Words in the Wild Poet, at Barnstable Land Trust’s Conservation Center in West Barnstable
- Friday, May 5, at 2 p.m. with Diane Hanna, 2022 Words in the Wild Poet, in partnership with the Cotuit Library in the reading room
“Earth Day is a perfect time to get outdoors and be inspired by the powerful words of local poets and the beauty of our natural spaces,” said Janet Milkman, BLT’s Executive Director. “This year, thanks to special funding support from the Mid-Cape Cultural Council and the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, as well as a partnership with the Cotuit Library, we are excited that the public can explore their own creative connections between art and nature through two free poetry workshops.”
The original program was conceived by author, poet, and artist Lauren Wolk, who approached Barnstable Land Trust to partner on the initiative. Working with her colleague Bob Nash, the duo broadened the partnership to include the Cape Cod Makers group who used their specialized GlowForge technology to engrave the poems on cedar plaques. A team of BLT volunteers led by Kelly Barber, Director of Land Stewardship, installed the special signs on BLT trails.
Last year’s program added trailside poetry inspiration at Pogorelc Sanctuary (West Barnstable), Fuller Farm (Marstons Mills), Ropes Field (Cotuit), and Eagle Pond and Little River Sanctuary (Cotuit).
“When I ‘retired,’ I vowed that I would continue to work on exciting projects to build bridges between artists and their audiences,” Wolk said after her retirement from the Cultural Center of Cape Cod in Yarmouth. “Based on the feedback from last year, I am excited to see Words in the Wild expand to new trails and engage even more people.”