Ecotopian Toolkit Workshop: Bobby Haskell



Text "ecotopian toolkit workshops" next to a sculpture made of dead wood.

The term “saproxylic” refers to creatures who depend on dead trees for their survival. These critters are mostly hidden from view inside logs and hollow trunks, but they form a large and diverse multispecies assemblage that is critical to forest health. 

Saproxylic creatures are under threat worldwide because dead wood is so often removed and destroyed out of a lack of understanding about its role in the environment. This issue is especially pressing in urban areas like Philadelphia, but fortunately we can use art to protect dead wood habitats and raise awareness about its importance. 

In this workshop, participants will create their own sculptures of saproxylic organisms out of woodcrete to take home with them. They will learn how they can use their sculptures to protect dead trees in Philly, and will be given information to help them become advocates for dead wood conservation.

Space is limited. We recommend pre-registration to secure your spot!

**Please note there is a fee to enter the Morris Arboretum + Gardens. PennCard holders can enter the gardens for free. For more information about admissions pricing visit:

Bobby Haskell uses sculpture installations to create habitat in places that have been ecologically degraded by human activity. Their work combines traditional sculpture techniques with emerging conservation methods to explore new possibilities for nature in the built environment. Haskell holds a BFA in sculpture from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and an Mphil in human ecology from the College of the Atlantic in Maine. They currently work in both the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia and on the coast of Downeast Maine, drawing their inspiration from both environments. They show their work nationally, and their public sculpture work can be found a the Dorr Museum of Natural History, the Davistown Museum Sculpture Garden, and on the campus of Southern Maine Community College.

This year, PPEH, in collaboration with the Morris Arboretum & Gardens, presents Ecotopian Tools for Multispecies Flourishing. These tools are designed to support diverse, multi-species communities, including humans, amidst the crisis of extinction fueled by habitat loss, climate change, and other Anthropocene woes.

This ongoing initiative to craft and share ecotopian tools across the Delaware Valley takes a utopian approach to ecological crisis as a way to confront feelings of helplessness and apathy that often arise in the face of global warming.

Flyer about saproxylic creatures.