Earlier this year, ACRES Land Trust kicked off our 200-year Ecological Reflections art and science initiative, curating works on Wing Haven, an ACRES preserve north of Angola. The initiative will commission and share two centuries of work by artists and scientists investigating and reflecting on Wing Haven over time.

“It’s hard for most of us to visualize what forever means,” says Jason Kissel, ACRES’ executive director. “This ‘short-term’ project of 200 years reinforces ACRES’ commitment to forever, gets you thinking about time differently, and demonstrates how ACRES views land-changes over two centuries.”

For this inaugural year, ACRES commissioned Indiana Humanities scholar, Kevin McKelvey, Associate Professor at University of Indianapolis to create a participatory poem. McKelvey weaved together a number of observations and notes from Wing Haven over the years into a long poem -a collage of many voices.

About the Poem

This is a participatory poem written and curated by Kevin McKelvey, and many contributions were written by attendees at the 200-Year Ecological Reflection kick-off at Wing Haven on August 12, 2017. Other contributions from Wing Haven archival materials or other books are attributed to their author. All left-justified text is by Kevin McKelvey. The original prompts are printed below:

FLOWERS AND/OR BIRDS: How can you describe some of the flowers and birds you see at Wing Haven? Can you compare them with a simile (using like or as)? A metaphor? Or an exact, creative description of color and form?

APPEALS: What are some requests, pleas, or demands you have of others? These can be about engaging a part of Wing Haven or other ACRES preserves, or you can write about what you would like others to do. Be direct.

QUESTIONS: What are some questions you would like to see answered by artists and scientists during the 200-year Ecological Reflection?

FOREVER: How do you define forever? How can you visualize it?

PRESERVES: What are some of your deep observations about Wing Haven or other ACRES preserves?

McKelvey joined contributions together, creating one continuous poem that was printed on scroll paper:

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