This summer the Stone Living Lab is bringing climate educational activities to the Boston Harbor Islands Welcome Center! Every other Friday through September 2, join SLL to experiment with erosion, create climate art, or discover how warming oceans will affect our marine neighbors. These pilot activities allow visitors to explore coastal change through different lenses, and also allow Lab staff to talk with and learn from residents and visitors alike.
These family friendly activities aren’t just great for young minds – they also give adults the opportunity to talk with experts about climate change in an open and casual way. We’ve met local residents who are all-too aware of threats like sea level rise, visitors who have their own climate change experiences, and others who worry that the issue is simply too big for local action to be effective. By talking and sharing in a friendly and low-stakes environment, we hope to spark motivation and pique interest in folks to continue these conversations in the future.
We will be piloting each of our three activities twice over the course of the summer. In our beach erosion activity, visitors get to experiment with the effects of stormy waves on a sandy beach, and see if they can construct an effective erosion protection using a variety of materials. Are rocks better than sponges? Will some of our model homes have to be moved? What happens when beach access is completely cut off for humans and animals alike?
Our climate art activity inspired by artist Jill Pelto uses real climate change data to inspire unique art pieces. Looking at graphs of Boston’s annual average temperature, greenhouse gas emissions, and sea level rise, visitors can draw and create art pieces that communicate what this data means scientifically, emotionally, or for society.
We will be piloting our third Climate Cart activity on July 22! This activity features native marine species, and visitors will explore how warming ocean temperatures will influence which species thrive or struggle under changing conditions. How will lobsters fare under climate change? Will we see any new arrivals in our Harbor? Visit the Cart to find out!
Find out which dates the Cart will be at the visitor center by visiting the Boston Harbor Islands calendar or following @StoneLivingLab on social media! Want to bring the Climate Cart home? You can download activity guides for each activity from our resource library here!