This past summer I spent some time volunteering with Great River Greening, an environmental restoration organization in St. Paul. The organization organized a series of events where people from the community participated in projects such as planting trees, clearing brush, or bumblebee counts. I went along to take some photographs for them. They are a fun group of people to work with and helping them has allowed me to shoot pictures in places that I otherwise probably wouldn't have gone to.
The first time I worked with them, there was a group of school kids from some inner-city schools in the area. I love taking pictures of kids, but since my kids are grown and haven't given me any grandchildren, there are few occasions for doing that without sneaking around playgrounds. This gave me an chance to shoot kids without looking too sleazy. 😊
The kids were given hand-held GPS that they used in some type of a scavenger hunt. (I never did figure out exactly what the objective was.) I got some good pictures of them, but most of them look like they are just on their smartphones.
Another outing took place on a glorious Saturday in May at a conservation area. The skies were blue, the sun was out, and the splendid lupine sprayed the green grass with lavender. It was a great day just to be outdoors. There were many families present for this outings: largely parents and youngish kids.
The activity for the day was planting seedlings and there were lots of cute kids out there helping out...
...some older kids...
...and even a cute little tree frog!
One final outing that I photographed was a bumblebee counting expedition, with the idea being to capture, identify, and release as many bumblebee as could be found. I was imagining big butterfly nets or the like, but the only had these little plastic containers in which to capture them.
It looked hard (I didn't try it myself), but the participants all seemed to have mastered it pretty quickly in spite of the fact that the honey bees (below) were a lot more plentiful than the bumblebees.
I also discovered some butterfly and some goldfinch...
...and a lovely view of the St. Paul skyline.