arts activated environmental stewardship

OACC’s Document Spring is a program of environmental storytelling that mashes up the arts, citizen science and environmental research. It provides opportunities for students, community members, artists, environmentalists and scientists to come together to celebrate the arrival of spring. Document Spring fosters environmental stewardship through experiential connection:  providing guided nature expeditions, classroom and online instruction, exhibitions, orientations, and an annual environmental storytelling and stewardship summit – connecting people and telling the story of change within the Natural World.

Together we make a difference

Document Spring

The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it and to foster its renewal is our only hope.
― Wendell Berry ―

Environmental Storytelling

Document Spring embraces our shared connection with the natural world – the individual journey of the research scientist, citizen scientist, photographer, dancer, poet, journalist, painter, and artist.


Document Spring is guided by a panel of expert phenologists, naturalists, and environmental managers whose skills help participants experience spring’s arrival in selected environments. Educational materials, presentations, and classroom instruction are available.

Compilation and Annual Exhibition

Data and artwork are compiled digitally and archived from year to year with an annual exhibition of the year’s expeditions.



Participants assemble for a brief orientation to the environment from an informed naturalist, receive helpful observation tips, review program expectations and break into smaller groups for a guided nature experience.

Participants reconvene to review and share their observation and experience with each other. Instructions for sharing data and art with the project are made available.

About 2020 Expedition Schedule

Weekday expeditions have been scheduled to provide for student and teacher participation during regular scheduled school days.

Saturday expeditions have been scheduled to provide for opportunities for family and community participation.

All expeditions are open to the public but require advance registration to provide for adequate staffing.

iNaturalist DOCUMENT SPRING 2020

The citizen science portion of the program utilizes the iNaturalist app where participants upload observations to its database and the Document Spring 2020 iNaturalist project therein.

The app is free, quite easy to use, fun and helpful in identifying species of plants and animals. Learn more about project protocols, register with iNaturalist and our project, and participate as a citizen-scientist.


2020 Schedule

January 29 || Advisory Panel Meeting

February 20, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM ||Reception
Document Spring Exhibition
Reif Performing Arts Center
Grand Rapids

March 1 – April 1 || Open Registration

April 2, 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM || Reception
Document Spring Exhibition
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM || Orientation

April 21 || Document Spring Climate Summit
FDL Tribal and Community College
Open to Public

April 25 || Expedition
Jay Cooke State Park

April 29 || Expedition
Jay Cooke State Park

May 7 || Expedition
Marcell Experimental Forest

May 9 || Expedition
Boulder Lake ELC

April 22 || Expedition
Jay Cooke State Park

May 13 || Expedition
Jay Cooke State Park

May 30 || Expedition
Jay Cooke State Park

1st Day ot Spring Lunch!
Carrot Ginger Soup: GF/Vegan
Chicken Salad on Cran wild rice bread
Spring Mix Salad-fresh greens with strawberries, walnuts and lemon poppyseed dressing
Ice Cream special- Buy One Get One Half Off ( 3/20 only)

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A photo from Document Spring 2019 photography exhibit taken at Jay Cooke State Park. #documentspringexhibit2019 #documentspring2019 #documentspring ...

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A photo from Document Spring 2019 photography exhibit taken at Jay Cooke State Park. #documentspringexhibit2019 #documentspring2019 #documentspring ...

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Come join us!! Document Spring 2020 kicks off the year at the Reif Performing Arts Center in Grand Rapids, Minnesota! 🐞🌿🌷 The reception is held on Thursday, February 20 from 5:00-7:00PM
#DocSpring #FindyYourNature #OACC #documentspring #documentspring2019

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Have any plans on April 22 for Earth Day? If not, come to our first Jay Cooke Nature Expedition of the season! We will be meeting at the park's headquarters (the Swinging Bridge) where we will have a brief orientation and eventually break out into smaller groups.
#FindYourNature #OACC #DocumentSpring #JayCookePark #EarthDay #documentspring2019
First Session: 9:30am-11:30am
Afternoon Session: 12:30pm-2:30pm

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Ryan Pennesi sent these photos to me last spring of a Red Squirrel - a sure sign of spring when these little buggers come out. #documentspring2019 #documentspringexhibit2019 ...

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