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Lunch and Learn: Steven Higgs, In the Natural State of Indiana

Tuesday, April 20   |   Noon – 1 PM

on Zoom

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On Tuesday, April 20, the Carnegie Center for Art and History and the Floyd County Library welcome Steven Higgs as this month’s Lunch and Learn presenter. April is when Earth Day is officially observed throughout the world. This year’s celebration is scheduled for April 22 and has the theme “Restore Our Earth”. When the first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970, Steven Higgs was an Indiana University undergraduate following the festivities happening on Bloomington’s Dunn Meadow. He would later earn undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Psychology. In 1985, he received his Master’s in Journalism from Indiana University and to this day makes his home in Bloomington.

Fifty Earth Days have since passed, and Higgs’ concern for the environment grew into a lifelong commitment to Indiana’s wild and natural places. An award-winning journalist and photographer, Higgs has highlighted the environment as a senior writer/editor while working for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. Higgs has covered and written extensively about the huge Hoosier National Forest and was able to use this platform to influence forestry logging practices. He also worked as the chief environmental writer for Bloomington’s Herald-Times and has been a mainstay adjunct lecturer at Indiana University’s Media School, a part of its College of Arts + Sciences. 

A chance remark from one of Higgs’ former students about how frustrating it was to be surrounded by so much Indiana beauty and not be able to experience it led to a remarkable personal journey. Six years later, 15,000 road miles throughout the state of Indiana, 244 natural places visited, and thousands of photographs taken resulted in two state nature guides and a manuscript about rewilding the Hoosier National Forest. Higgs’ books are available for purchase through his website and blog called Natural Bloomington, but attendees can follow some of his statewide expeditions during this program.

Higgs has been quoted in an article published by the Sycamore Land Trust that captures something of his experience.

“I’ve been all over the state. I was stuck in the mud in the Ohio River Valley, walked into combined sewer overflows in South Bend, walked across an entire valley filled with waste tires up in Northern Indiana. I’ve seen everything there has to be seen in Indiana’s environment.”

Of interest to nature lovers in our area is Higgs’ A Guide to Natural Areas of Southern Indiana: 199 Unique Places to Explore. Higgs’ guides detail how to get to particularly hard-to-find places and what you can do there on your visit. 

Register at https://nafclibrary.libcal.com/event/7691967 to receive a Zoom link to join the event and experience Higgs’ beautiful photography and his recommendations for day trips throughout the natural state of Indiana.

Beginning the second week of April, visitors to the Carnegie Center can pick up a free Earth Day Bag kit (available while supplies last). Decorate this natural canvas bag with an Earth Day message using the markers provided – feel free to incorporate other art materials you may have at home! These canvas tote bags are good for recycling, carrying books or art supplies, and are a great alternative to plastic bags.

For more information, email info@carnegiecenter.org.

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