The Mystic River Trading Card Project uses art as a medium to engage middle school students to learn more about their surroundings and to inspire a new generation of informed and active watershed stewards.
In the Fall of 2001 a small group of 8th grade students from two Malden middle schools, (the Beebe School and the Salemwood School), under the direction of local artist Melissa Kulig, created the first group of trading cards, based on the plant and animal life of the Mystic River. Melissa’s instruction emphasized observation and techniques in drawing and painting and offers the students professional art materials to explore these study areas of study. This artistic skill building is combined with site visits to the Mystic River where the students learn to document the species that they see.
This is the first part of a longer-term project to create a full set of Mystic Trading Cards. These cards will ultimately be an invaluable tool to promote greater public awareness of the watershed, the river, and the species that use the river as habitat.
The Mystic River Trading Card Project is a collaboration of the UrbanArts Institute at Massachusetts College of Art, the National Park Service, and the Mystic River Watershed Association.
Each Trading Card is set up like a postcard. A student drawn picture is found on the front of the card with background information about the plant or animal located on the back.
The following are some examples of these student created cards.