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Fellow combines interest in arts and the environment for three local organizations

By Upstate Institute on June 23, 2014

Maxine Lammers ’15 is a double major in Studio Art and Environmental Studies at Colgate, and is completing work for three different organizations this summer through the Field School that uses skills she is developing in both of these subjects.

The Cazenovia Area Community Development Association (CACDA) has Maxine working on a “BikeCaz” program which considers infrastructure changes that might make their community more bicycle friendly. Her research will allow the community to apply for a “Bicycle-Friendly Community” designation from the League of American Bicyclists. The Cazenovia Preservation Foundation (CPF) has her making new trail maps and signage on their many trails in the Cazenovia area that are sometimes difficult to find and access, especially for the community’s visitors. Her maps and trail guides will include information about access points and parking areas to encourage better use of the trails by community members and visitors.

She is also working with the Madison County Planning Department on the Madison County Adventure Challenge, which will be held in 2015. The Adventure Challenge is a scavenger hunt based on an historic figure and former resident of Hamilton. During the challenge, visitors to the community will find clues and artifacts about the person through a series of outdoor activities and puzzles, which must be used to solve the challenge. Maxine is working on a series of videos about the Challenge that will help to promote local resources and foster an understanding of the benefits of local purchasing for residents and visitors to the community alike.

The three projects are engaging her interests in equal part. CPF has asked her for trail guides, which requires her to combine her artist’s eye with her knowledge of GIS to create effective maps. CACDA’s promotion of cycling as a primary means of transportation speaks to her environmental interests, while the work she is doing on public bike racks ask her to explore examples of functional public art. For the Planning Department, she is using video editing skills to promote local buying habits and awareness of natural resources and amenities.

Though the projects are just getting started, Maxine is appreciative of the opportunity these organizations are giving her to engage her skills in a real-word setting by doing something that can make a difference. The experiences are giving her an opportunity to think about her future career while learning about how influence works in small communities. She says the projects have made her think about how to use natural resources as a means to get people moving and outside, which is something she values.

“I hope that I can leave each of these organizations with something that will make a significant and lasting impact and make their jobs a little easier, “ she says, “ because they’re doing so many great things!”


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