Showing posts sorted by relevance for query cutler. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query cutler. Sort by date Show all posts

Monday, December 20, 2021

The Artistry of Local Environmentalist Liz Cutler

Update, Jan. 8, 2022: Liz sent me a link to her fascinating talk about the when, where, and how of her pressed flower arrangements. She describes how her first one was done as a gift to a neighbor who helped her out during the pandemic, and how the artwork has changed the way she looks at nature. 

Many of us who know Liz Cutler for her environmental initiatives in Princeton over the years got a nice surprise recently. It turns out that she is also a self-taught artist. Her beautiful pressed flower arrangements are on exhibit at the Princeton Public Library through the end of the year. You can also feast your eyes on a digital gallery

By putting her name into the search box on this website, I was able to bring up some of her many environmental initiatives. There's OASIS (Organizing Action on Sustainability in Schools), which is an extension of her role as Sustainability Director for Princeton Day School, where she also teaches english literature. 

This pressing is called "Oakleaf Hydrangia Gradient," referring apparently to the transition from dark to light and back to dark again as she captures the many shades of color that Oakleaf Hydrangias exhibit in the fall. 

I may have first met Liz back in 2007 when she brought some of her students to help me remove invasive species, back when I was resource manager at Mountain Lakes preserve. That group was called ENACT. If you're impressed with her talent for acronyms, it's even more telling that action is a recurrent theme. Liz is all about making things happen, particularly when it comes to engaging youth on environmental issues, as in her High School Eco-Conferences over the years. We also served together on the Princeton Environmental Film Festival committee.

To find the exhibit at the library, head up to the second floor, take a left and then a right. For anyone interested in buying either the originals or the prints, here is what Liz told me recently. I'm sure the library has additional information. Congratulations to Liz Cutler on this wonderful exhibit.
"Many pieces are sold, some are not. I'm also selling prints of them. The good thing about prints is the color never changes. The good thing about the originals, other than being 3D is their color evolves over time because they're organic and if you like that sort of thing about nature--which I do--then originals are best. Kind of depends on your point of view."


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

School Garden Tour Sunday

Here's an opportunity to visit some of the great school gardens in the Princeton area. Info below's from Liz Cutler of Princeton Day School. OASIS stands for Organizing Action on Sustainability in Schools.

Reserve your spot now for this Sunday's OASIS School Garden Tour. We will visit the school gardens at Princeton Friends School, Community Park School in Princeton, and the Lawrenceville School Farm program, touring the gardens and hearing from the garden coordinators about curriculum integration.

Meet at Chapin School on Princeton Pike by 12:55 in time for a 1pm departure by bus (donated by Chapin School). You must reserve a spot on the bus. The tour is free. We will return to Chapin School at 4:10pm.

To reserve your space or for more info contact, Liz Cutler:

Monday, November 13, 2023

Liz Cutler's Pressed Flower Art

This is a post to honor the work and artistry of one of Princeton's great environmental educators, Liz Cutler. I first knew Liz as founding director of the nonprofit OASIS (Organizing Action on Sustainability In Schools), which promoted sustainability at 23 area schools. As sustainability director at Princeton Day School, she organized school garden tours and climate summits focused on mobilizing and empowering the next generation. Once a year, PDS would send a hundred kids to Mountain Lakes for community workdays back when I was the resource manager there. Later, we served together on the Princeton Environmental Film Festival committee.

Since leaving PDS, Liz says she's been consulting with schools all over the country to help them become more environmentally sustainable. One particularly nice-sounding gig: she spent this past winter as Master Teacher-in-Residence at The Island School in The Bahamas helping their young faculty improve their teaching practice.

To her extraordinary environmental work has more recently been added extraordinary art, specifically pressed flower compositions. According to Liz, what "began as a meditation in 2020 has become a creative manifestation of my love of nature and of my life's work as an environmental educator." 

Less than two years after she started creating her many and varied compositions of pressed flowers, the Princeton Public Library hosted an exhibit of her work

She now has a website, LizCutlerPressedFlowers, where she makes prints of her original compositions available for purchase as lasting gifts. The website is an opportunity to check out all her lovely work, and includes a description of her process. Twenty percent of all proceeds go to benefit The Watershed Institute and the D&R Greenway Land Trust. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Free School Garden Tour This Saturday, Sept. 26, 1-4pm

From Liz Cutler, sustainability proponent extraordinaire, and her OASIS group:
"Reserve your spot now for the Saturday 9/26 OASIS School Garden Tour. We will visit the school gardens at Hightstown High School and Littlebrook School, touring the gardens and hearing from the garden coordinators about curriculum integration. 
Meet at Chapin School on Princeton Pike by 12:55 in time for a 1pm departure by bus (donated by Chapin School). You must reserve a spot on the bus. The tour is free. We will return to Chapin School at 4:10pm. 
To reserve your space or for more info contact, Priscilla Hayes,"
This is a great chance to meet like-minded people and see how gardening is being woven into the curriculum of local schools.

(The picture's of a different school, at a different time of year, but you get the picture.)

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Some Upcoming Environmental Events

April 4 at 7pm Two Events
A showing of Bag It! at the Arts Council-- an entertaining and very informative documentary about the environmental consequences of the single use plastics that pervade our lives and often end up in open spaces, oceans, and animals' stomachs. Sustainable Princeton has begun an initiative to reduce plastic bag use in Princeton. A review I wrote of the film is here.
Pilot Food Waste Curbside Collection Program, Township building

      A public meeting to learn more about the township's pilot program. Though more common out west, this will be New Jersey's first curbside collection of food waste. For those who can't find room in their backyards for a compost bin, this program is a way to reduce trash going to the landfill.

Our Future, Our Challenge 2011: High School Student Eco-Conference, April 16, 2011
at Princeton Day School, featuring a great list of speakers, lunch and a fair that Friends of Princeton Open Space will participate in. This conference is being organized by Liz Cutler, who is doing great work to promote sustainability at Princeton Day School and in town.
Pre-registration required:

DR Greenway Native Plant Sale, April 29th and 30th
        The plants are all, or nearly all, grown from local genotypes. More info here.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

PDS Student Make a Difference at Mountain Lakes

Mountain Lakes, part of 400 acres of preserved land between 206 and the Great Road, is a popular hiking spot for Princetonians. Home base of the Friends of Princeton Open Space, its habitat is in great need of ecological restoration.

On September 7, 100 Princeton Day School freshmen and accompanying faculty arrived at Mountain Lakes for their second annual community workday. PDS has informally adopted the area in the upper right of the photo, stretching upstream along the two creeks that feed the lakes.

Using loppers, the students broke up into workgroups and took on the thorny multiflora rose that has displaced native species from floodplains in Princeton, as it has all over the eastern U.S.

Two hours later, large piles of the cut invasive rose were amassed in the woods, and native species like blackhaw Viburnum, sassafras and spicebush suddenly had more room to grow.

The students showed great perseverance and teamwork in achieving an impressive transformation of the landscape.

Here, two students push the thorny shrub's branches out of the way with garden rakes, allowing another student to reach in and cut the stems at the base with loppers.

After lunch, the students returned to learn more about the ecological forces at work in the preserve.

During the past couple Aprils, the ENACT environmental group from PDS, led by Liz Cutler, has also come to Mountain Lakes to help with invasive species control.

Thanks to all the students for their hard work. And thanks to Mark Widmer for coming by to take photos.