Heritage is that which is inherited from past generations, maintained in the present and endowed to future generations. Natural heritage refers to the sum total of the elements of biodiversity, including flora and fauna, ecosystems and geological structures.
The Natural Heritage Project is a group of artists, nationwide, enlisted to create a visual response to the dynamic state managed database entitled, "Natural Heritage Inventory Program (NHI), as part of an international network responsible for maintaining data on the locations and status of rare species, natural communities, and natural features throughout each state. The term "natural heritage", derived from "natural inheritance", which pre-dates the term "biodiversity." It is a less scientific term and more easily comprehended by the wider audience interested in conservation.
HOW THE PROJECT WORKS
All exhibitions are co-designed by professional artists, curators, educators and students who share an appreciation and general concern toward the vibrancy and diversity of our natural world. Each artist, artist team, or class chooses their own theme, informed by their state's Natural Heritage Inventory Database, personal interest & curiosity. Each artist, artist group, or class is required to create a series of original works that inspire a call to action, furthers awareness, and guides individuals of diverse backgrounds toward solutions whether big or small.
Our exhibitions range in form, from gallery exhibitions to interactive student led exhibits, and pop-up exhibitions in both indoor and outdoor spaces. No matter the space, the group, or the student - the exhibitions are beautifully curated, inclusive, informative, fun and interactive.
WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO?
Everyone has an opportunity to change behaviors that leave a negative impact, so long as they have an understanding of how and why it matters; the Natural Heritage Project seeks to provide a creative pathway to that understanding.
Extinction is natural, new species typically develop through speciation at about the same rate that other species were becoming extinct, a sort of natural balance - our concern is not with natural extinction, our concern is with the increase in air and water pollution, forest clearing, loss of wetlands, and other human-induced environmental changes that have caused the rate of extinction to far exceed the speciation rate.
Each extinction diminishes the diversity and complexity of life on earth. Although it may appear that the loss of a single species has few environmental repercussions, keep in mind, life on earth is entirely interconnected. If enough "living connections" become broken, whole ecosystems begin to fail and the balance of nature becomes altered.