Above: Rose Hip, the trail critter that can be found on an EG Land Trust trail.
The Rhode Island Land Trust Council in conjunction with local land trusts including the East Greenwich Land Trust, has posted 30 different “trail critters” on Rhode Island trails. One of those critters – named Rose Hip – is on a Land Trust trail right here in East Greenwich and the EG Land Trust is challenging residents of all ages to search for it.
This is all part of the RIWalks Challenge, coordinated by the Rhode Island Land Trust Council, designed to entice people to get outside and explore nature while enjoying land trust trails, the perfect way to reduce stress and anxiety and improve health. The creatures are inspired by the plant life found in nature. From the sweet gum seed pod to the chanterelle mushroom, each has a QR code to snap to get more information about the creature, the trail, and the land trust.
“The idea came from a desire to attract people to take walks outdoors and help them connect with nature,” said Rupert Friday, Executive Director. “Now that summer is here, it’s a great time to explore new trails with your family and friends and – when you find one of the creatures – share a photo on social media to inspire others.”
The challenge is part of the council’s RIWalks program that encourages people to set walking goals and challenge themselves. A newly designed web page for RIWalks – riwalks.org/challenge.php – will help walkers track the creatures they find. Walkers can find a list of trails with creatures and download a checklist with pictures to track when and where they find each creature.
“Our goal in the design was to elicit a sense of wonder, surprise, and mystery,” said Greg Rebis, who designed the creatures. “The resulting designs are whimsical characters – an anthropomorphization that dances between fantasy and reality – to appeal to the imagination and let people relate to our native flora while out in nature.”
The council partnered with The Steel Yard, a nonprofit industrial arts center in Providence, to bring the whimsical creatures to life. RIWalks Challenge was made possible by a generous grant from van Beuren Charitable Foundation.
If you find Rose Hip, let us know! Post a selfie of yourself with Rose Hip on social media and tag us (@eastgreenwichnews on Facebook and Instagram).