A special invitation is being extended to BIPOC families for an outdoor event that celebrates autumn, art, and apples. On Saturday, Sept. 23, the Minneapolis Regional Parks will stage a Black to Nature Event at the JD Rivers’ Children’s Garden. The one-acre food and flower garden is nestled within Theodore Wirth Regional Park at 2900 Glenwood Ave, Minneapolis.
The free fun event, entitled “How Do You Like TheThem Apples?” is scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. “This is a beautiful outdoor facility and we will be learning and playing,” enthused Northside artist Phyllis Chatham, who will be one of the African American artists who will create crafts and experiences with the children.
“We will be telling stories through nature. The kids will be picking and pressing apples and making apple cider,” Chatham said. “I enjoy giving back to the community.”
Introduced in 2022, Black to Nature is an ongoing program series in the Minneapolis Regional Parks, to “bring Black and brown faces to wild outdoor spaces,” in Chatham’s words.
The programs were established to affirm the relationship between Indigenous African and Black people and the natural world, particularly in North Minneapolis. Local artists collaborate with Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board naturalists to fuse Indigenous African and Black historical narratives with memorable outdoor experiences.
“We want families to enjoy the magical scenery, the world of enchantment that comes with the changing of the seasons,” Chatham added. “We will have a great time!”
In addition to Chatham, acclaimed local Minneapolis artists Amoke Kubat and Jayanthi Rajasa will be in attendance at How Do You Like Them Apples? to share their artistic gifts with participating families.
There are other upcoming Black to Nature events to put on your family’s calendar, including The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa. It’s scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. at the Kroening Nature Center in the North Mississippi Regional Park at 4900 N. Mississippi Dr., Minneapolis.
This family-friendly event celebrates Kwanzaa and its connection to nature through storytelling, songs, art making, and a guided walk in the park with a naturalist.
Registration for the How Do You Like Them Apples event is encouraged, but not required. Call 612-370-4383 for event details.