When my second grade daughter was given a school project to create a pilgrim doll, my first thought was to hit the local craft store and stock up on miscellaneous craft supplies knowing that they would cost a pretty penny, and that the project would involve a lot of parent time. But then I had a second thought when I remembered reCREATE, an Eco-Art Center in our area.

reCREATE is a 501 3c nonprofit organization that promotes reuse through a variety of activities, including classroom presentations and field trips, art booths for children at community events, and an Eco-Art Center. The organization reduces the amount of trash sent to local landfills by working with businesses to collect clean, unwanted items for use in art projects. Donna Sangwin, the founder and director of reCreate is a Roseville, CA mom who has built an eco-friendly art program around the idea that clean, unwanted items can be re-purposed into material for arts and crafts. This helps local business both produce less waste and help support our schools and community.

“I want to make a difference with the environment. I don’t want my kids to get older and ask, ‘What happened here? This was on your watch,'” Sangwin said of reCREATE. The organization has two main venues, a Rolling reCREATE school program and the Roseville Eco-Art Center and store.

So far over 2,250 students have been able to go through the reCREATE school program. The Rolling reCREATE program brings a field trip to schools. The reCREATE truck arrives at the school where reCREARE staff talk about natural resources, conservation, and personal choices in consumption and waste. After the presentation, classes visit the truck to select their material for their own hands-on art project.

The reCREATE Art Center in Roseville provides many opportunities for children and adults to match creativity with conservation. Activities at the center include drop in craft time, birthday parties, field trips, scout troop activities, art classes, shopping, and learning about being a little greener.

Our family has participated in several reCREATE activities, including a Girl Scout field trip to the Art Center, a class on making bird feeders and a class on making snow globes. Our daughter is also planning to have her birthday party at the Eco-Art Center. As a parent, I love the idea that my children are learning about conservation, and are beginning to make their own choices about consumption and waste, while at the same time having opportunities to express themselves creatively.

For more information on reCREATE visit: www.recreate.org