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cause&effect

Lex Shafer, Heather Lee and Casey Folsom

Ava Schroeder and Matt McCurdy

W

ith her children nearing school age amid the financial crisis of 2008, Donna Sangwin was disheartened to see art programs in her community on the chopping block. Thanks to her corporate background, she knew usable materials were thrown out by businesses every day, so when a friend introduced her to the concept of creative reuse, Sangwin saw an opportunity to affect change. That same year, she founded ReCreate, a Roseville-based program dedicated to reducing waste through art and education. “I think one of the most important things we are doing is sparking the imagination and creativity of children,” shares Sangwin, ReCreate’s executive director. “Our materials are not traditional art supplies. We encourage kids to make animals, robots, vehicles, costumes and more with these items.” ReCreate’s 3,300-square-foot space houses the ReUse Store—a pay-what-youcan resource for local educators, crafters, and kids of all ages—and EcoArt Studio, where participants in classes, camps and birthday parties fashion works of art from clean, usable materials donated by businesses throughout the region. “For kids and adults, ReCreate provides the chance to see new possibilities in things we think of as trash,” shares ReCreate Board Member Vicki Mongan. “Since every invention is really making something new out of things that already exist, ReCreate is a fun way to teach the next generations of inventors to think creatively.”

28 stylergbr.com - December 2014

recreate From Trash to Treasure by Morgan Cásarez Photos by Dante Fontana

Jae Heuermann and Hayleigh Graham

Trinity Walker, Abby Werth, Ava Schroeder and Josiah Reed

ReCreate’s most popular program, More Art! Less Waste!, focuses on waste reduction education and equips 15,000 students

annually with information that ranges from the amount of trash generated daily in California (on average, more than four pounds per person) to the simple changes they can make in their daily lives to reduce and reuse waste. Colene Jenkins, a third grade teacher at Maidu Elementary, has hosted ReCreate in her classroom for the past four years and says she’s seen a positive impact—not only in her students, but her own family. “It is amazing to see the creativity that goes into each project and the excitement the kids experience when their product is complete,” she shares. “Personally, I also love [it] for my own children. My daughter was so proud one year when she made all her Christmas gifts at ReCreate.” In total, ReCreate’s of programs, including the Rolling ReCreate truck, which makes appearances at local fairs and festivals, prevent an estimated 65 tons of usable materials from entering the waste stream each year. As she looks to the future, Sangwin hopes to bring the STEAM Train, a mobile unit focused on providing science, technology, engineering, art and math education to upper elementary and middle school students, to life. “For me, it is all about the earth my kids are going to inherit from our generation. I want the world to be clean… and vibrant with creativity,” she says. “I want them to know I am doing all I can to help make sure that happens.”

For more information, visit recreate.org.

Profile for Style Media Group

Style Roseville/Granite Bay/Rocklin - December 2014  

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