Uptown Summer Week 1 Review

It’s been such an exciting first week of the fourth Uptown Summer!  This years theme of Environmental Justice for Our Local Community and Beyond has lead us to do some really terrific things!

We’ve been learning some great things about gardening in our urban environment from some of our amazing volunteers and simultaneously discovering how to transmit the things we learn by learning to create soundscapes and discovering the stories that exists around us all.

The week began with some roadblocks: a miscommunication about the start time, for example. Also, going to a new place and meeting all these people for the first time would be a strange experience for anyone. It was clear many of the teens were uncomfortable and anxious, but by the second day, good friendships were already being made!


The teens’ first task was to transform Freedom Square into a beautiful place for the community to go. It was tough, but they learned to work together and make things easier for themselves. There’s still much to be done, but they definitely made a great start. 


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Throughout the week, many volunteers, such as Julie Caspar Roth and Troy Pohl, taught the team useful information to help them write digital stories for the upcoming radio station, WOOC 105.3 FM. They learned how to listen effectively, use microphones, and tell interesting stories about their community.


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Branda Miller, the arts and education coordinator here at the Sanctuary, said, “In a way, it’s like a sitcom — like a reality sitcom — where each day this group of people are taking a journey together. Who knows where we’ll go!”


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