ETHOS: Bringing the Arts and Science Together
Between July 6 and August 30, MVIHES has been participating in the ethos programs at the McMillan Arts Centre (MAC) in Parksville, part of the art installation project at the MAC titled SOFT SHORE: WHERE LAND AND WATER MEET . The art exhibit is in celebration of the beauty of the natural ocean shoreline landscape featuring works from local artists.
In the room across the hall from the exhibit is ethos, a program that complements the art exhibit with interactive displays of ocean life and community projects intended to protect our unique ocean ecosystem. The goal of ethos is to encourage people to become stewards of aquatic environments. MVIHES has been keeping a live aquatic bug display called POND CRITTERS as part of the program. This is a way in which the public can gain an appreciation of the many different kinds of aquatic insects and their role in the ecosystem.
The insects are collected from Hamilton Marsh several times a week by MVIHES volunteers and placed in an aquarium. Kids of all ages are enjoying netting all sorts of bugs such as water boatmen, stick bugs, water scorpions, dragon fly nymphs, and caddis flies from the aquarium and observing them in trays and viewing boxes. MVIHES volunteers are guiding the future entomologists in identifying the insects as well as helping to recapture those that escape (the bugs, that is). Hmm, I wonder how many critters made it over to the art exhibit or souvenir shop.
Included in the ethos programs is beach seining that MVIHES also particpates in as an activity for the public to interact with the natural shoreline environment and learn about the animals that live there.
What a wonderful holistic approach to environmental stewardship and showing appreciation for our coastal landscape.