Unpacking the Land Library – it’s finally here!

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“The unpacking of books, perhaps because it is essentially chaotic, is a creative act….” from The Art of Unpacking a Library by Alberto Manguel

With over 1,400 boxes of Land Library books spread across metro Denver, we have been looking for a site where we could bring all the books together, and start getting them ready for the shelves at South Park’s Buffalo Peaks Ranch, and eventually for our urban branch at Denver’s Puritan Pie Factory. We also have over 125 donated bookcases from the Tattered Cover’s old Cherry Creek store!

We’re excited to announce that we have found a spacious warehouse in Denver’s Globeville neighborhood. In April, we’ll assemble the dismantled Tattered Cover shelves, and soon after begin moving in over 1,400 book boxes. Volunteers will begin to unpack the Land Library, sorting by subject, and determining titles destined for the ranch, or for the city. This job will take months to accomplish, but at long last, we’ll begin in April!

We love that the Globeville warehouse will not only be a central storage space, but very much an ongoing volunteer work site. And perhaps something more. Until the Puritan Pie Factory is ready to receive books, we are hoping that Globeville will eventually allow the Land Library to loan out books, and host occasional programs, such as our new Front Range Book Club.

We will need a lot of help to get this job done! In the next few weeks we’ll announce two moving dates, starting with the Tattered Cover bookcases, and followed by over a thousand boxes that have been stored at Acme Distribution Center for the past six years.

More to come in the next week or so, but please sign up for future volunteer alerts. We need to build a roster of Land Library volunteers we can call on for the exciting Globeville opportunity, plus numerous projects coming up this summer at Buffalo Peaks Ranch!

To sign up for future Land Library volunteer alerts, email jeff@landlibrary.org!

The Puritan Maid Pie Factory to house an urban land library.

From the Rocky Mountain Land Library’s pop-up at the Puritan Pie Factory. photo by Helen Richardson, Denver Post

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Join us for our Spring Seed Swap!

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Spring is here! In preparation for your garden this summer, we are excited to announce the Rocky Mountain Land Library First Annual Seed Swap at Processus. We will have heirloom and organic seeds to share, and plenty of coffee on hand. Plus many books about gardening, seeds and seed saving.

Please bring some of your own seeds (and stories) to swap. And as an extra bonus of having the Seed Swap at Processus, you’ll be able to explore the Altered Nature print show on display.

FREE & Open to the Public

When: Saturday, April 7th, 10 am – Noon

Where: Processus, 955 24th St, Denver, CO 80205

For more information, email jeff@landlibrary.org

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“To swap seeds is to keep a variety strong and valuable – a genetic currency, the exchange of priceless genetic material. How interesting that the agrarian within us understands that to survive, to keep our food crops viable, we have to be openhanded. Seeds have a built-in requirement for generosity.” — Janise Ray

Wouldn’t it be grand to open an Irish branch of the Land Library?

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The Land Library’s celtic roots run deep. For the past 30+ years, we have built a strong collection of books on the natural histories of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales — with a special emphasis on the Hebrides and Ireland’s western coast.

With Saint Patrick’s Day upon us, we reached for one of our favorites: Atlas of the Irish Rural Landscape edited by F.H.A. Aalen, Kevin Whelan, and Matthew Stout.
This handsome atlas explores the rural landscape as a defining element of Ireland’s national heritage. Far more than a collection of maps, this book is thickly illustrated with photos, drawings, diagrams, and charts. An excellent text presents a narrative where layer upon layer of natural & cultural histories intertwine. Detailed descriptions are given of building styles, field and settlement patterns, archaeological monuments, villages, woodlands and bogs. Abundant maps open your eyes to Ireland’s glacial past, along with its rich heritage of stone circles, ring forts, sacred wells, Cistercian monasteries, and much more.

Here’s just a brief sampler of other Irish books and authors that have found a home at the Land Library.

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Off the southwest coast of Ireland, The Blasket Islands has produced a remarkable set of lyrical memoirs. They are books coming straight from native voices, and not part of a literary movement. Our favorite might just be Maurice O’Sullivan’s Twenty Years A-Growing, translated into English in 1933. E.M.Forster wrote the introduction to that edition, and to this day, his praise for O’Sullivan’s book seems pitch perfect: “…here is the egg of a sea-bird — lovely, perfect, and laid this very morning.

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Also pictured above: Ireland: A Smithsonian Natural History by Irish naturalist Michael Viney — a well done and very comprehensive guide.

The Land Library has many books on Ireland’s flora and fauna, plus a special shelf devoted to the works of writer and cartographer Tim Robinson:

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Tim Robinson has won two Irish Book Awards for his Connemara trilogy. Writing about Robinson’s two volume study of the Aran Islands, Michael Viney describes it as “one of the most original, revelatory and exhilarating works of literature ever produced in Ireland.

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The writer Robert Macfarlane has had a huge influence on the Land Library’s team. We’re also not aware of anyone else who catagorizes authors by rock type. Here is Macfarlane on Tim Robinson (pictured above):

Limestone has been blessed with two exceptional 20th century writers. The first of these is WH Auden, who so loved the high karst shires of the northern Pennines….The second of the great limestone writers is Tim Robinson. On the west coast of Ireland, in County Clare, between the granite of Galway and the sandstone of Liscannor, rises a vast limestone escarpment, pewterish in colour on a dull day, silver in sunshine….So begins one of the most sustained, intensive and imaginative studies of a landscape that has ever been carried off.

So here’s a question: Won’t there be people in the Rockies who will want to read the works of Tim  Robinson of the Aran Islands?

YES, we’ve always thought so.

Celebrating the Life & Work of Andy Goldsworthy

Purchase tickets today for a special Earth Day screening of LEANING INTO THE WIND featuring the work of artist Andy Goldsworthy!

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Leaning Into the Wind follows Andy Goldsworthy on his exploration of the layers of his world, and the impact of the years on himself and his art.

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“A beautiful film. It’s an embrace of this intriguing Earth artist and his magical interventions. Don’t miss it.” — The Art Blog

Director Thomas Riedelsheimer returns to Goldsworthy’s work, sixteen years after his groundbreaking film Rivers and Tides – Andy Goldsworthy Working with Time:

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This coming Earth Day, the Rocky Mountain Land Library will be partnering with RedLine to present a special screening of Leaning Into the Wind:

Sunday, April 22nd at the Sie Film Center, 2510 East Colfax Avenue, Denver, CO 80206

Reception & silent auction: 6:00 pm

Screening: 7:00 – 9:00 pm

CLICK HERE TO RESERVE TICKETS

This will be a benefit screening for the Rocky Mountain Land Library, supporting our place-based programs at South Park’s Buffalo Peaks Ranch, and in Denver.

RedLine is a non-profit contemporary art center located at 2350 Arapahoe Street, Denver. RedLine fosters education and engagement between artists and communities to create positive social change. For more of RedLine, be sure to visit their website.

And stay tuned for future collaborations between the Land Library & RedLine, starting this fall in South Park:

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September 1-3, 2018

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For more information email: recall.redlineart@gmail.com

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Horse Barn & corrals at Buffalo Peaks Ranch

Rocky Mountain Cloudscapes

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William Jacob Hays, The Gathering of the Herds, 1866. American Museum of Western Art – The Anschutz Collection

Colorado has one of the most dramatic skies in the country. Summers see towering thunderheads thanks to the mountains and winter winds can whip clouds into flying saucers. 

That atmospheric grandeur is why the Cloud Atlas Project wants more of us to turn our eyes skyward, snap photos and then share those images on social media. Instead of an Instagram of your latest farm-to-table meal, why not a cloud?” — Sadie Babits, Colorado Public Radio

What a thrill! Colorado Public Radio featured the Land Library’s Cloud Atlas Project today. Here’s a link to the interview and accompanying article!

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Ben Sherrill, Eileen Roscina Richardson, & Denver’s reflected cloudscape

Reporter Sadie Babits interviewed the Land Library’s Cloud Atlas team, Ben Sherrill and Eileen Roscina Richardson on the lure of clouds, and why it’s so important to simply look up. Also featured in the interview is Colleen Sullivan, the program and marketing coordinator for the American Museum of Western Art – The Anschutz Collection.

The Rocky Mountain land Library is thrilled to be partnering with AMWA on two museum tours that Colleen will be leading: Cloudscape: Tracing the Evolution of Clouds in Art. Both walks have quickly sold out, but stay tuned for more Cloud Atlas outreach and programs!

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Maynard Dixon, Desert Journey, 1935. American Museum of Western Art – The Anschutz Collection

More on The Cloud Atlas Project

The Rocky Mountain Land Library has long felt that nature is always near, whether we are at South Park’s Buffalo Peaks Ranch, or in downtown Denver. Nature, and in particular clouds, enrich our days no matter where we are.

The Cloud Atlas Project’s goal is to cultivate community appreciation for clouds in the city and the country, to foster conversations about clouds and encourage simple awe at the sky above. We will also be advancing related programming in partnership with local neighborhood groups, art institutions, public schools, and local governments.

For more information, be sure to visit our project website, CloudAtlasProject.org!

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Announcing the Front Range Book Club!

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Sorry — the Front Range Book Club has sold out. Stay tuned for it’s next series of great books!
The Rocky Mountain Land Library is excited to offer a new type of book club — a short-term club that will discuss 3-4 books on a particular topic (bees & beekeeping, nature-in-the-city, Native American literature??). We’re naming it our Front Range Book Club, because we’ll be especially focused on life where the mountains meet the plains.
Each incarnation of the Book Club will also feature an experiential component: perhaps a field trip/hike, or maybe a volunteer work day in support of a local nonprofit’s work in service to land and community.
For our first Front Range Book Club our focus will be on people & place. We’ll explore the importance of public lands through the works of Terry Tempest Williams, Lauret Savoy, and Robert Michael Pyle.
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The Hour of Land : A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks by Terry Tempest Williams
Sunday, February 25th, 1 pm to 3 pm
“In her new book, place and voice meet as never before …. Each page contains a surprise, a lesson, a story. The book is a testament to Terry Tempest Williams’s canonical place in American environmental literature, alongside Henry David Thoreau, Wallace Stegner, Edward Abbey, and Annie Dillard.” — Los Angeles Review of Books
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Trace: Memory, History, Race, and The American Landscape by Lauret Savoy
Sunday, March 25th, 1 pm – 3 pm
“How does one find a home among ruins and shards?  That might be the question that leads Lauret Savoy to follow traces of life’s past in landscapes, rivers, fossils and graveyards as she works to undo the silences of our nation’s wounded history.  As an Earth historian, she reads the land with an informed eye. As a woman of mixed heritage, she reads into the land the lives of enslaved laborers and displaced tribes.  This is a work of conscience and moral conviction.  Reading it I understood how the land holds the memory of our history and how necessary it is to listen to its many voices.”
– Alison Hawthorne Deming, author of Zoologies: On Animals and the Human Spirit
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The Thunder Tree: Lessons from an Urban Wildland by Robert Michael Pyle
Sunday, April 29th, 1 pm – 3 pm
An engrossing memoir and eloquent portrait of place, The Thunder Tree shows how powerful the relationship between people and the natural world can be.
“When people connect with nature, it happens somewhere,” Pyle writes. “My own point of intimate contact with the land was a ditch… Without a doubt, most of the elements of my life flowed from that canal.”
Denver’s High Line Canal became the author’s place of sanctuary and play, and his birthplace as a naturalist.
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What can our Bookish Volunteer Team Accomplish on Earth Day 2018?
Sunday, April 22nd
As a group, the Front Range Book Club will decide how we can give back on Earth Day. Over the next few weeks we’ll be discussing the importance of place in people’s lives. No doubt those books, and our conversations, will lead us to good service this coming Earth Day. Maybe pitch in on a public lands project nearby? Stay tuned!
Book Club Fee — $30, with proceeds going to our Public Lands Library at Buffalo Peaks Ranch, one of the Rocky Mountain Land Library’s special collections.
 To obtain copies of the Book Club’s books, contact your local bookstore or library.
Where? For our book club discussions on February 25th, March 25th, and April 29th, we will be meeting at Lighthouse Writers, 1515 Race Street, Denver, CO.
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To Register for the Front Range Book Club
Simply email jeff@landlibrary.org
With limited space in the Book Club, be sure to register early!

From National Parks to Community Gardens: Public Lands Across the Globe

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The Rocky Mountain Land Library has amassed thousands of books on Public Lands, from city parks to wildlife refuges, all across the globe. Among our most recent additions is Edge of Morning: Native Voices Speak for the Bears Ears, an important & very timely collection of essays on Southern Utah’s National Monument, which is also a sacred site for many tribes.

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All of these books tell an inspiring story of setting land aside for the sake of nature itself, and for the benefit of untold generations.

Stories of the hard work that went into their faithful formation offers solace in difficult times.

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Preserving land has never been an easy task, and it always gives us a boost when we come across the writings of a pioneer conservationist such as Sigurd Olson. Olson helped establish the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, along with several National Parks during his years with The Wilderness Society.

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Fortunately, National Parks & preserves is not just an American idea. We have lots of lessons to learn from across the globe.

We’re not exactly sure where this special collection will be house at Buffalo Peaks Ranch, the site of the Land Library’s emerging residential home. But we can’t wait to begin shelving books that we all need right now — today.

For more on the Rocky Mountain Land Library at Buffalo Peaks Ranch, here’s a 7-minute video on where the Public Lands collection will be!