Walkers met McLane High School art teacher, Marc Patterson, working early on a Saturday morning before students arrive at noon to work on their projects. Marc shared about the ArtVenture Academy and how it takes students ‘deep’ into social topics, and includes field trips, interview skills, and allows students to add their own voice. Walkers were thrilled and amazed to learn about this program for Fresno Unified students.
October 28, 2017, a group of mindfulness walkers met at the beautiful Betty Rodriguez Library across the street from McLane High school near Cedar and Shields.
At the conclusion of the 4 mile walk, walkers gathered on benches around a fountain in the middle of McLane campus to share observations:
McLane High School ArtVenture project and instructor, Marc Patterson are AMAZING.
Art should be taught with all history, and history can be taught with art. McLane high school is fabulous. More people should know about this. McLane high school is an oasis in neighborhoods with many challenges and areas of neglect.
It’s interesting to see people’s reaction when they notice us walking in a group. They have a look of amazement. But when we greet them, they ‘soften’ and smile and greet us in return.
Very emotional seeing the empty lot and the plywood memorial where the boarded up house burned and killed five people in December 2015. Walkers also stopped to observe a burned-out house at the entrance of the pedestrian overpass at Princeton and Hwy 168.
McKinley canal is a space of nature in the middle of an urban city environment.
Many people living out in the open in desperate circumstances along the McKinley canal. Walkers met Wes, who said the new city ordinance kicks them out of one place so they just move to another – which just keeps them on their feet all the time.
Interesting to see people’s reaction when they notice us walking in a group. They have a look of amazement. But when we greet them, they ‘soften’ and smile and greet us in return. One man on a bicycle, stopped to take our picture – his name was Chris.
Noticed homeless people with dogs who stay with them, unleashed. Walkers talked about the companionship of a dog.
Saw a number of loose roaming dogs. Lots of barking dogs behind gates and fences – many in the front yard barking at walkers. Saw and heard loud aggressive dogs lunging and barking behind a short front yard fence as the mail carrier delivered the mail.
Homeless couple eating strawberries while sitting and facing the ponding basin, with their belongings and sleeping area piled up in the dirt along the chain linked fence.
Walkers comments on the woman pulling the wagon full of recyclables along Cedar – how positive, pleasant, friendly, and even joyful she was even while doing what seemed like difficult dirty work for just a few dollars – collecting recyclables.
Walkers noticed how sidewalks start and stop – even close to schools where children often walk. The woman pulling the wagon had to walk out ‘into traffic’ when the sidewalk turned into dirt.
It was a strange sensation walking on the pedestrian overpass over Hwy 168. Most walkers reported that they had never walked on a pedestrian overpass.
Walkers realized how the Hwy 168 split what once was an intact neighborhood – now there is a wide expanse of land with loud traffic running right through where tree-lined streets use to connect neighbors. Different feeling once crossed freeway – something changed about the feeling of the neighborhood.
Welcome to new walker Mary, and returning walkers: Irene Carrol Jim Red Gail Olivia Val Brenda, Beth Eliza Brenda Donna , and Wendy.
To see photos, including Marc Patterson and his classsroom at McLane High School:
Google photo album: https://photos.app.goo.gl/HlaHVns48R8tfDTq1Uncategorized