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Conservation Commission poetry boxes seek hikers with words to remember

By Smithfield Times Staff

Woodland Whisper is a newly developed Conservation Commission poetry project formed to encourage families to enjoy walks on town trails and to promote reflective thinking and environmental stewardship.

Poems written by town residents and other individuals have been permanently installed on selected trails. Decorated poetry boxes, with accompanying pencils, sketch pads and blank writing journals, will also be placed along each trail for visitors to leave their thoughts and images for all to enjoy.

Woodland Whisper will seek out other town and area entities to join this project, such as the Smith Appleby House, Senior Center, Gallagher Middle School, Smithfield High School, Greenville Library, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Bryant University, Blackstone River Theatre, Narragansett Tribe, Fogarty Center and local businesses.

According to the mission statement for the Woodland Whispers Project, the effort aspires to give people chances to connect their feelings, words, and nature through poetry and pathways.

The goals of the project are:

To encourage families to enjoy walks outdoors on Smithfield’s trails
To encourage people to read poems and view art in the woods
To offer the opportunity for people to write poems and create visual art in the woods
To display student poems on selected Conservation Commission trails in Smithfield on a rotating basis
To promote reflective thinking and environmental stewardship
To reconnect people with nature as a way of decreasing stress and improving overall well being

The project organizers plan to supply paper and pencils inside each “poetry box”; ask local organizations to decorate a “poetry box,” including Smithfield Conservation Commission, Land Trust trails and other town outdoor public areas; monitor the “poetry boxes” and rotate student poems on the trails; and, enjoy walking the trails and reading and writing poetry.