"Walking Caron Park" | Photography Exhibition from Carleton & St. Olaf Students

June 10, 2016

Caron Park is a sixty-acre remnant of the big woods located in rural Faribault, MN, just a few miles west of Big Woods State Park. It is a maple and basswood forest deeply marked by glaciation. A tributary of Prairie Creek flows down natural limestone steps to a pretty falls and pool. The limestone preserves fossils from marine creatures that inhabited the shallow sea that inundated the area 500 million years ago.

The “Walking Caron Park” exhibit is a collaboration between students in Linda Rossi's Carleton course, The Digital Landscape, and Meg Ojala's Intermediate Photography class at st. Olaf. Students walked and photographed Caron Park in late April, 2016. Two naturalists, Kaytlan Moeller and Amber Brossard, explained how glaciers sculpted the topography, creating eskers, drumlins, and moraines. Students identified spring ephemerals: trout lilies, wild ginger, bloodroot, false rue anemone, wild leek, spring beauty, water leaf, and marsh marigolds. They recognized cherry trees by their distinctive bark. Students learned why a male toad chirps if he is squeezed under his front legs, and discovered toad eggs in a still pool in the creek.

These collaborative installations describe particular aspects of the park from distinctive perspectives. The students who contributed to the project are: Lindsey Weber, Rahul Uppal, Theo Morris, Gina Hatch, Megan Gleason, Naomi Borowsky, Shweta Bhatia, Robert Krossa, Lindsey Main, Annie Foxen, Amanda Zeilinger, Renato Barraza, Betti Funfar, Bethany Guse, Nicole Kroschel, Charlotte Kuntz, Olga Litvina, Kristina Moua, Mya Saracho, Lexi Swenson, Jabri Whirl, and Ryan Zimmerman.

This collaboration is an academic civic engagement course component and is made possible by the Mellon Foundation funded Broadening the Bridge grant.