The Olana Partnership has launched a new program series titled, “Lessons from the Land” at Olana State Historic Site. The series explores how humanity shapes the landscape and how the land shapes us. This program is offered for free for all Columbia and Greene County residents as part of a Humanities NY grant award which will also support Spanish-language translators during each offering to broaden access to this program and to Olana.
During each program, naturalists, herbalists, and ecologists will lend a new perspective on Olana’s 250 acres. By connecting their expertise with Olana’s physical landscape through dialogue and hands-on explorations, each visiting speaker will give a deeper understanding of Olana not only as a historic artist-designed landscape but as a site for appreciating the natural world and exploring humanity’s connections to and histories with the land. This program series uses this season’s exhibition Terraforming: Olana’s Historic Photography Collection Unearthed as a framework to provide perspective on the earth around us and examine the layered ways humanity interacts with the natural world.
“Lessons from the Land” supports Humanities New York’s vision to strengthen civil society and the bonds of community, and to create engaged inquiry and dialogue around social and cultural concerns. A recently awarded Vision/Action grant will support translation of each of these programs into Spanish and free access to each program for all Columbia and Greene County residents.
“By bringing on a speakers with diverse expertise and backgrounds, I hope this program will provide a wide range of visitors with opportunities to learn more about how we connect with the natural world and the land we inhabit” said Carolyn Keogh, Director of Education and Public Programs for The Olana Partnership.”
On Saturday, August 26 at 6:00 PM Nkoula Badila, founder of Grow Black Hudson will present “Moving and Healing with Mother Earth: A Sunset Walk and Workshop.” During this nature walk and workshop, Badila will guide participants through Olana’s landscape, discussing the health benefits of regional species and the ways we can connect with nature through movement and herbal medicine. Nkoula, a seasoned yoga practitioner and performing artist, will lead a short yoga practice inspired by the flora onsite. The program will culminate with a hands-on activity where participants will be invited to create their own herbal tea blend or a mugwort smudge stick to take home.
Antonia Pérez of Herban Cura will join us on Friday, September 15 at 5:00 PM for “Turning to the Plants: A Guided Plant Walk through Olana.” Participants will learn about several medicinal and food plants growing at Olana and how we can build mutually regenerative relationships. Participants will turn to the plants to learn some of the stories of the land, how they got there, and the messages the plants have to share with us all about the history of settler colonialism and displacement.
The series will culminate on Saturday, October 14 at 10:30 AM with “Walking in Wonder” led by The Outside Institute. Laura Chávez Silverman, founding naturalist of The Outside Institute, will guide participants in accessing their curiosity and sense of awe in nature. A walk throughout Olana’s artist-designed landscape will give participants a chance to observe ecological conditions and think more about the relationship between humans and their surroundings. Identifying flora, fauna and fungi’s edible and medicinal properties will help participants cultivate a more intimate connection to their surroundings.
Un traductor de español estará presente durante los programas. Para obtener más información, visite OLANA.org.
Free refreshments will be served following each program. Space is limited and advance registration is required. This program is FREE for Columbia and Greene County residents, $15 per person or $10 for members of The Olana Partnership. The series is generously sponsored by a Humanities New York Vision/Action Grant. For more information or to register visit OLANA.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (518)751-6938.