The Beauty and Biodiversity of Belchertown

Thank you to all of the 135 students, grades K through 12, who submitted your artwork, poetry and photography to The Beauty and Biodiversity of Belchertown!

BHS Library

Jabish Library

Cold Spring Common Room

Cold Spring Office

Jabish Lobby

Swift River Lobby

Swift River Library

Swift River notebook up close

Look for the notebooks at the Town Hall, Clapp Memorial Library, Belchertown Senior Center, Easthampton Savings Bank,  all school libraries (and other spaces, should the opportunity arise)
starting Friday, June 1.

contact MsLevy at BHS for details ... or leave a message at 323-9419  x2127

Artists!  Poets!  Photographers!

Submit your best work for the springtime exhibition …
The Beauty and Biodiversity of Belchertown!

Hey!  You live in a great town!!  BEST (Belchertown Environment, Science and Technology) invites you to celebrate our landscapes, natural history, and the fantastic variety of life that shares this great town with us!  Draw, paint, print, create, write, photograph, and share!!  The exhibition will feature your work in free-standing “notebooks” at the Clapp Memorial Library, school libraries and other prominent places around town. 

Choose your favorite spot then …
·        Photograph, draw, or paint a landscape and name the season
·        Get up close and personal with the plants, land or water animals or fungi or algae, (even soil, bark, stones, lichens, and fallen leaves are fair game!), draw a still life or scientific illustration and name it
·        Create a fanciful illustration inspired by the life around you… and name it
·        Sit in a quiet space and write a poem.  Include some words describing the habitat, landscape, plants, or animals that make Belchertown a great place to live and explore

Submission guidelines:
1-      All submissions must be the original work of Belchertown Public Schools students, and appropriate for public display
2-      All submissions must be sized to fit in a 8½ ” x 11” notebook, portrait, no more than ¼’ relief
3-      All work must be submitted by May 4th, 2012
4-      Sign the work, and on the back or on an index card, include your full name, age, school, grade, and your teacher(if you’re an elementary student) and an “artists statement”
5-      Be sure to identify where in Belchertown you got the inspiration to compose your work
6-      Submissions might not be returned to the student – produce a copy if it’s precious to you!!

Let’s get the word out about the beauty that surrounds us (supported by the Toyota Tapestry grant, Belchertown Biodiversity … Let’s Get Outside!!).  Just bring your work directly to MsLevy at the high school or to your schools’ Library/Media Specialist.  Start at the BEST blog,, then for more information, contact MsLevy, your art teacher or librarian. 

Lake Wallace, newly frozen

The life, silence.

The physics, cacophony.

The black mirrored ice oddly reflects

the grey February.

Submarine ricochets sound as the ice shakes off

it's last drops of glancing sunshine.

Shivering whispers ripple through the zephyrous oaks,

the leaves mounting their applause to the winds of parturition.  
They cry out from their desiccating heights,
begging for rebirth in the decomposing humus.
The jogger and the birder exchange glances and nods, each contemplating
the crazed logic that led the other here this day.
The winds calm in the copse of trees.
Two crows in the distance proclaim or complain.
I can finally feel my fingertips again.

louise levy

Learn to love outdoors

There once was a little girl who grew living in the wonders of the outdoors. She was a friend of the animals, at peace with the rain, for she knew how to dance in it.

Her own child was very much like her, until she found the book of eternity.
The first story held her eyes to the page, glued to stay forever.
'The goal of this game is simple' she read to her mother
'for when come winter there's snow
This book is your life, your life alone
Nothing could ever distract you from me
And you will read me forever.'
The girl tried, and tried as she could, but, alas, it was no good.
That book was stuck, for eternity it seemed, until the gleam of hope was found.
When the girl fell asleep, the book rested to, and from her fingers it would fall. Quiet as the night, her mother stepped besides her. She grabbed the book and snapped it shut tight.
She threw it away, how they rejoiced on that day, not knowing the fate that would come.

Not a day later, with not a finger laid outside, the girl turned on her radio. A song came on, named the song of eternity.
'I am the song, the song of eternity,
You can never stop listening to me.
As I play, it is here you shall stay
For no one shall take this time, I'll say.'
But luck came before them that day, and all the lights of the city flickered out, and the radios enchanting song died.
Oh, how they rejoiced on this day, For neither book nor song, could trick them, do they dare say?

Not a day later, the girl hadn't even looked outside, and was still as ignorant as she was from the start.
A new era of cell phones appeared and she knew that she must have one, so she did. On that cell phone she talked and texted the day away, and would not separate from it at night. She put up quite a fight,
' I will never, ever get rid of this phone' she said
' I will stay with it for eternity,
No one shall ever take it from me.'
It consumed her whole, it became her life, and though she didn't know it, her cell phone had become a destructive device.
She had hurt all her friends, though never had to face them,  and taunted her mother 'til she cried. But she had brought this all this upon herself, no ones fault but her own. There was no devil, clutching her with its might, she was there by choice, not fright.
Her mother weeped for her daughter, thinking of how she used to love everything with not a care for herself. Finally with all of her will she dragged her little girl outside.

She dropped her phone in amazement, and as it shattered she didn't care to cry. Her mother taught her to become friends with the animals, and their laughs of joy rang out like a bell, the broken phone still where it fell. The girl learned how to be at peace with the rain, for she learned how to dance in it.
She had gained more knowledge then she'd ever known, and now knew the shame of her former ignorance. She saw the flaws of what she did, but nature cleansed them until she was new again. Her life was a journey, and for the rest of her life, she grew living in the wonders of the outdoors.

Sara Levy

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