Ecotarium Pitcher Plant Sketch by Nancy Minniegerode

Observations From EcoTarium Field Trip in Worcester, MA

What exactly is an EcoTarium?

What do you get when you mix together a museum, exploration center, live animals, educational and interactive exhibits about science and nature and a passel of kids? You get an EcoTarium! Designed to get kids immersed and involved in all things science and nature, this is not your typical museum. Exhibits are designed to be touched and played with, and there is a lot of room to roam outdoors when the weather is nicer.

Fun at the EcoTarium – notes from Nancy Minniegerode

On Saturday, February 9, 2019, an intrepid group from GNSI-NE met at the Ecotarium in Worcester, MA for a day of sketching. It was a clear and sunny day, but way too cold to be outside for very long!

The EcoTarium is geared toward hands-on interactive children’s activities. There are a lot of taxidermy specimens in addition to some live animals on exhibit. Some animals were in outside enclosures, so we didn’t sketch them due to the cold. Indoors, there were turtles, frogs and a saltwater aquarium which gave us some good sketching subjects.

I found a comfortable place to sit and paint toward the end of our visit at the carnivorous plant exhibit. I didn’t get far with my sketch, but I did get a good lesson in the importance of drawing from observation. All the botany folks out there probably know about this aspect of pitcher plants, but until yesterday I did not realize they emerge from a tendril growing from the tip of a leaf from a “traditional” looking plant.  This was an exciting discovery for me and reinforces what we know is so true: drawing makes us see so much more!

It was fun to get together with Wendy Chadbourne, Laurie Bebick, Frances Topping and Sau-Mei Leung from the Guild and my biologist friend, Diana. Looking forward to our next outing!