Whether we like it or not, yesterday was another one of those grey, throw on the snow boots begrudgingly kinda days. On a brighter note, it made me that much more determined to find something I'd seen online and that for now, will call a secret garden. Located curiously enough somewhere in (or in the vicinity of) the RISD Museum. Speaking of which, I'd let my memebership lapse at the beginning of last year and soon realized what an epic mistake it was, especially after missing out on first dibs for tickets for Patty Smith, the tour featuring her reading from her latest book.
So, updated membership in hand, I set out to locate the Edna Lawrence Nature Lab, named for the artist, adventurer, and pioneering instructor who had begun curating what would later become her namesake (collaborative) space, where the worlds of nature and art meet, back in the late 1930's. (For the record, I could probably write a bunch of blogs about Ms Lawrence & the Nature Lab.) Turns out, it's a quick walk around the corner from the Cafe Pearl entrance, above the RIPTA bus tunnel, and directly across from the historic First Baptist Church.
You should def check out the Lab and its collections of butterflies and other insects, taxidermy (!) and live specimens, and all those skeletons, which as I saw first hand yesterday afternoon, are wildly popular among social media lovers. After searching the two main rooms of the Lab, and weaving my way around some slightly overzealous selfie fans congregating in and around said skeletons, still couldn't find what I'd come looking for specifically.
Thankfully, after striking up the courage to ask one of the staff, I was guided in the direction of 'the living wall' in all its glory. Mission accomplished. (Photos below.)
Situated in the aquaponics area, just below the Lab, the green wall is 27 feet long and a lush, cheery sight during this particularly brutal stretch of winter we've been experiencing. Walls such as this are (I just learned) part of a whole biophilic design movement, with the intention of 'bringing the outside in', and reconnecting people (especially those in office or work spaces) with nature. Apparently, among participating organizations or companies studied, the benefits of a green-er work environment include a decrease in call outs and a marked increase in feelings of mental clarity. I mean, what's NOT to love about all of that?
Photo Credits: Photos of "the Green Way" courtesy of PattyJ.com