Recycle, recycle, recycle! We have all heard this important message for decades. We must respect the four Rs — reduce, reuse, recycle and responsibility. Our planet depends on it.
Luckily, a local woman has made it her mission to not only remind the adults of the valley how important it is to take care of our earth – she is also dedicated to educating our young people about important environmental realities with her. . scrap gallery in the cathedral city.
“Every day we face environmental challenges,” says the founder Karen Riley, “but through creativity, education and action, we have the ability to change things. Children are essential to changing the world, not just for them, but with them. That’s why I’m excited about all the projects we do at SCRAP – it’s never boring.
Since 1997, Riley has been teaching young people in the valley the importance of caring about our communities by recycling, repurposing and repurposing materials usually destined for landfills.
Its art museum and captivating mobile program are unique. It provides arts and environmental education to children throughout the Coachella Valley. Using donated discarded materials, students of all ages learn about conservation, reuse, and other environmental issues through hands-on exploration. Riley also educates us on the importance of respecting our cohabitants on this planet, such as bees and butterflies.
Riley works with all three school districts in the Coachella Valley, as well as private schools and home schools, creating projects for people around the world, in person and virtually. She has recently completed projects in Hawaii, Mexico and throughout Europe.
“This year alone, we’ve served over 100,000 people through our on-site school projects, visits to the SCRAP Gallery and exhibitions, including our ‘She Works Hard for Honey’ (exhibition) on bees, presented at Thrillville in Indio last February. The bee exhibit featured local artists and over 600 student artists,” she says. “It was amazing and the kids learned so much.”
They learn so much and we know children can teach us a lot too. They love sharing their knowledge, and Riley says sharing the facts they’ve learned about conservation brings a lot of pride and joy. She currently has an important initiative called “Join the revolution – plastic free”.
She explains: “Plastic Free July is a month of global action. We want everyone to join us in just starting to think about how to do more things to reduce their addiction to plastic and stop the use of single-use plastic.
It’s an important and easy first step to help our planet, and it’s for this crucial and creative action that we award this week $1,000 grant from the Jordan Schnitzer Power of Community Family Foundation to the SCRAP gallery so they can continue their great environmental messages for all ages.
“We have fun and creative ideas that kids and adults can do,” says Riley. “For our (Join the Revolution program), we have kits that get you started, and by addressing just three out of six ideas, we’re giving you a plastic-free Cathedral City goodie bag.
Receiving prizes just for taking care of our planet? You can’t beat this deal, and in the process, we’ll all learn important facts about how to help our planet. And that’s a lesson we all need to learn.
For more information, visit scrapgallery.org.
Sandie Newton is the host of “Desert Chat,” a new half-hour lifestyle show highlighting all the good people, events and news in the Coachella Valley, which will debut in September on KESQ and Fox11