Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Let the music begin

Now that we have a stage in our nature playscape, my hope was to bring musicians in for kid-friendly outdoor concerts.  Turns out, having the intention is all you need.  One day, we had some traveling musicians who are friends of the family of a current Elm Tree student come in and put on an impromptu concert for us.  It was so much fun, we can't wait to have more!
Any bands or musicians who want to come play a kid's set, please contact us!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Fundraising Fun!!!

The day of the fundraiser arrived and it was gorgeous one!  With the help of many, wonderful volunteers, we rapidly turned our yard into mini-festival grounds.  

The bouncy castle was brought out of hiding.
The Family Tent was set up and equipped.
(Thank you Ric for the tent and Dorje and Sarah for the face-painting)

Jenn Cleary
We were so blessed to have the help of the lovely and talented Jenn Cleary.  She provided the PA system and MC'd the stage with professionalism and grace.

We love Jenn!

She is also Dorje's mom, so we double-ley love her!  Here is a site where you can learn more about her music, local gigs and albums.
Jenn introducing Karen Horan

Jenny Hodgson

Thank you to our lovely and talented singer/songwriters!  
Kriya (w/ Jaz performing creative dance)
Antonia A. Lopez
Isabelle Davis
Gene Ira Katz
Karen Horan
Jenny Hodgson
Greg Johnson
Mark Risius

(contact info for artists and musicians below)

Greg Johnson
Bree Ruen did some art at the scene.

Sarah the face-painter was really good!

Dorje had some really fun art projects!

John Bunzli
The sandbox provided plenty of entertainment, and it's in a
good place to see the music too!

Checking out the art and jewelry made by Karen A Dombrowski-Sobel

About the Artists:

Through the many years I have spent painting, drawing, and studying art, I have gained a sensitivity for all that it takes to make a great piece of art, along with the skills needed to produce it.  My fifteen years working as an architectural designer, has given me the sensibility for design, composition, and structure. Having a strong connection with the environment and nature has created a desire to enlighten people about how sacred, and ephemeral the land we take for granted is.  So, I now use my photography, to do this. 

Photography is a mystical experience for me. It is a way for me to express the inexpressible, that which is sacred, in a world where not enough is held with high regard.  

Trees and plants have become my focus, as I have sensed an urgency to stop the clear cutting and killing of our precious trees. So, I use my photography to show people the beauty and importance of trees and plants in our lives, and in the macrocosm of the environment. There is a great impact that each tree and plant has in our lives, making us happier, healthier and giving us a future to look forward to. My great passion is to continue creating fine images that evoke the mystery of nature while giving each subject a sense of the sacred.


A Naïve Artist: painting with a
childlike simplicity in style & technique.
Born and raised in Iowa, with 1 year of
self-taught art under her belt, she
prefers painting on Vinyl & utilizing recyclable materials.
Her brush strokes reveal a magical reality
inspired by nature & emotion.


 Sarah Workneh the face-painter: sarahworkneh@gmail.com


Jenn Cleary:  http://www.jenncleary.com/

Mark Risiushttp://www.reverbnation.com/markrisius

John Bunzlihttp://www.johnbunzli.com/

Karen Horan: To be on her mailing list you can email:karenmariehoran@msn.com

Isabelle Davisfacebook.com/IsabelleDavisMusic  www.youtube.com/zplusguitar

Antonio A. Lopezfacebook.com/antonioalopezmusic


Gene Ira Katz: www.soundcloud.com/katzongs

Thank you so much everyone!

Stage Building....and has anyone ever done this before?

We jumped feet first into the latest project, that of building a stage from log rounds.  It's easier to explain in pictures, so...

We dug a ginormous hole and filled it with pea gravel
(fortunately we had a lot of that!)

2 X 12 boards served as the frame for the stage

Getting the frame level and straight was a real time-consumer.
Thanks Jeremy and Richard for your help!

Leveling logs until late at night

Ready for concrete!

Rowan was most patient as his mom was 100% occupied with stage building

Can I stand on the big stump NOW?


Mixing concrete, no small task, no easy task, each bag weighs 80 pounds!

And each log was carefully surrounded by the concrete and packed tight.

13 bags of concrete = 1,040 lbs. carried and mixed by hand!

Is this ever going to be done?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My what a transformation!

In the beginning....we tore up our sod and planted a wee little garden.

And that little garden grew, and grew, and grew
until it couldn't even be contained by the likes of a picket fence.

Fundraiser time!!!

The Elm Tree's Annual
Benefit Concert and Silent Auction
A fundraiser to complete our Nature Playscape playground*
Sunday, September 9th 
1330 Alpine Ave, Boulder

Live Music Schedule:
  •   3:00 - 4:30  Local Songwriter's Showcase  A rotating stage with 15 minute sets featuring songs by local musicians
  •  4:45 - 5:15  Interactive Kid's Show with Jenn Cleary and Sarah Edwards
  •  5:30 - 6:30  Pot 'O Gold - local acoustic trio featuring lush harmonies and guitar stylings returns to The Elm Tree, this year with a special all-Beatles set!  
Kid's Activities:
  • Face painting
  • Bouncy castle
  • Nature art activities
  • Dance and movement classes
All-ages activities:
  • Silent Auction
  • Food, Beer and Wine 
  • Artwalk featuring local artists
  • Live music!!!
  • Raffle prizes
  • Self-guided playscape tours
    Tickets: $8 in advance / $10 day of the show 
    Free Admission for Kids under 13!
    Contact: info@theelmtree.org for advanced-ticket purchasing information

    Fundraiser location:
    Elm Tree Preschool
    1330 Alpine Ave
    Boulder, CO 80304

    >>>Early-bird special<<<
    Early birds may enjoy 1 free glass of beer or wine between 2:30 and 3pm (*over age 21 only)

    Parking is limited to neighborhood street parking, 
    please consider walking or biking to this event.
    See you there!

    Please forward this email to as many folks as you can....especially if they are the kinda folks who like kidsnaturemusicart OR amazing deals on silent auction items. (: 

    *More Info:
       The Elm Tree is a preschool in North Boulder that has been serving area families for 29 years.  Over the past two years we have been installing a new kind of playground in our backyard called a nature playscape.  By doing so we hope to start a revolution in the world of outdoor playgrounds; very soon we hope to bring this concept to children everywhere by transforming public parks and public school playgrounds into nature playscapes!  
       A nature playscape incorporates as many natural materials as possible instead of man-made ones, rather than a lone metal or plastic structure planted in the midst of a huge fall zone, children get to climb up hills, logs and boulders and wander through tall grasses, and vegetable and herb gardens.  The emphasis is on helping children have real, meaningful interactions with nature so that life-long connections can be formed.  All the research in recent years seems to suggest that children are more calm, engaged, cooperative and active in a nature playscape compared to traditional playgrounds.  Features we have already installed from previous fundraisers include a chicken coop, willow hut, hill slide, veggie garden and greenhouse, outdoor art area, mosaic murals, boulder and logs for climbing, a dirt digging area and more!
        The fundraiser is held in our playscape so not only will guests get to learn about the concept, they will be able to see one, and witness children playing joyfully in one!  We structure this event like a mini-festival complete with face-painting, kid’s art and dance classes, a bouncy castle,artwalk featuring local artists, beer, wine and food, silent auction, raffle prizes and of course, live music all afternoon!   With the funds raised we hope to finish the outdoor music stage (which will also be available for community events) as well as an outdoor "musical soundscape garden" consisting of instruments made out of recycled materials.  Come join us in this amazing project!

    Sunday, July 22, 2012

    The chickens have arrived!

    The past 10 days have been spent working very hard on finishing up the outside fence for the chickens.  I learned of 5 hens that some neighbors wanted to donate to us.....they are older and thus lay less eggs than young hens, but for our purposes they are perfect!

    So, we finished the coop on Thursday and just in time, because the chickens came to us on Friday!  Five beautiful white hens, a matching set.  It's hard to tell them apart, in my personal opinion, but my son has already set to naming them, he has bestowed "Furry Murry" "Red Head" and "skinny" upon three of them, but don't ask me which one is which!

    First, there were no chickens

    Almost there...
    And done!

    The "girls" are all very calm and sweet

    Inside the coop

    We will be setting up our chicken-duty schedules very soon, families can sign up for Morning or Evening chicken duty, it takes about 15 minutes each time to attend to their needs and is actually quite fun!

    Forest Garden - Phase one

    The forest garden, complete with stepping stones and plants!

    We planted greenhouse overflow plants, mainly tomatoes and pumpkins in the space for the summer and we put in perennial herbs like oregano, sage and thyme as well.  In the fall we hope to raise enough money at a fundraiser to purchase the trees and bushes for the garden.  The trees we'd like to include are peach, plum, cherry, apple, apricot and pear and we need about 5 blueberry bushes (of various sizes and varieties), 2 thornless blackberries and 2 raspberry bushes to complete the garden.. OH, and a really cool stone bench for sitting in the center of the fruit trees and maybe a great stone statue or fountain or some garden art to include would be super cool too!

    And here are some photos to document the front yard, as it has made some big changes lately!

    Lawn removal: in progress

    Looking good!  Can't wait to see it with trees!

    Parent helpers are the best. (: 
    I always like me a before and after picture, but this is just the before and "phase 1" photos: