Whew it has been a long time since I utilized this blog! Now seems as good of a time as ever to get back to it. Here is our current update!
When I started Creatures in the Wild it was in response to the 2016 presidential election. My brain decided needed to make a difference in the world, to counteract all of the negative I was seeing.
My whole adult life up until then was spent in farm to table kitchens, working on connecting people to nature through food. The step to open a Forest Preschool was a natural one from there.
My goal was to facilitate a connection to nature and creativity for children, that they could the carry into adulthood. I spent a year researching, consulting experts, interviewing kindergarten teachers and reading every book I could get my hands on. In that year we hosted countless nature groups, attended many meetings and had our first Summer Adventure.
Since then the Forest Preschool has opened and made its home amongst the cedar trees at the Woodchuck Hill Field & Forest Preserve. Nature Group meet ups have been happening all over the Syracuse area, helping people discover new wild areas and teaching them how to embrace free play in the forest. Summer Adventures have been a huge hit. They bring kids from all over the area and allow them to spend a whole week immersed in nature and projects of their own creation.
This past summer we opened the Studio. It seemed like a perfect addition to the Creatures Family. A place for kids to come and immerse themselves in creative play and art?! How could that not be perfect? Well. Unfortunately it was not. The large team that started it dissolved and it was all too much for a single mom of three to manage. This past January the Studio closed. I thought I would be devastated when this happened. That it would feel like the end of the world. But oddly enough once I was back outside, and with my own kids more, the opposite happened.
All of a sudden my creativity has come back! Nature Groups are being planned, this time on the weekends to make them more accessible.
A new Saturday morning Forest Art class is in the works for this spring.
Summer Adventures are almost full so I am adding another week.
Now that my children are not stuck in an art studio constantly they are becoming my sweet wild babes again.
The Studio may not have lasted but the lessons we learned were invaluable.
Thank you to everyone who came on the journey with me.
And don’t be sad my friends. SRW JOYCE PHOTOGRAPHY is taking over the art end at her Studio. Just wait until you see the Birthday Parties and Classes she has in the works. It has been so fun to watch it all come together.
Check out the her Facebook for more information on art classes and keep an eye on the Creatures facebook for outdoor classes. The website should be update in the next few weeks.
Creatures will also be posting job openings for the summer and next school year!
2019 is going to be an amazing year. Now let’s get outside.
- Casey Kirkland Johnson
Amazing poem and art by Sarah Wiley Joyce