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All Species- A Brief Introduction

All Species projects build a sense of community while reestablishing our connection to the natural world. All Species article from Green Teacher Magazine written by Marty Kraft and reprinted with permission.

All Species Project is a process of building sustainable community through the use of art, pageantry, science and action projects. It represent the efforts of many people and draws on ideas from many sources, tying diverse skills and disciplines together.

ASP had its inspiration in San Francisco in 1978, when journalist Ponderosa Pine organized an All Species Parade that marched to City Hall, where Mayor George Moscone proclaimed All Species Day.

Chris Wells, founder and director of ASP International, studied festival development from Carnival in Rio to various tribal celebrations while living in South America. He brought the All Species Parade idea to Santa Fe, New Mexico and with the aid of teacher John Mcleod, added elements to turn it into an educational program for school and community, the All Species Project.

In 1987 the All Species seeds were planted in Kansas City by Wells and Mcleod, where the Heartland All Species Project grew into a separate organization. In Kansas City, Marty Kraft has been exploring green neighborhood community building. Many other cities have also sprouted All Species Parades and other pageantry events from the seeds Chris has planted.

Using pageantry to strengthen conscientious values toward Earth, nature, and our fellow humans is not new. It has probably been here as long as humans have. Take these ideas and enliven them with inspiration from your own community.

There's little question that we have an environmental crisis on our hands. As educators, we want to help our students learn about the challenges they face, leave them with hope, and empower them to act in a responsible manner.

Educators and students, from preschool through high school, have benefited from individual and classroom activities based on the All Species perspective. Students are learning about specific environmental issues while they develop their skills of reading, writing, reasoning, and creativity.

Read a more in depth article about All Species.

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