LOVE LOCAL BY A LOCAL — The SCRAP Gallery
Lori Rodgers (black.in.palmsprings) is the brand ambassador for Love Local, the series that explores the restaurants, shops, and businesses that make Greater Palm Springs unique. Lori moved to Palm Springs from Georgia in 2012 and has been exploring the destination ever since.
Some people have a talent with their hands or their voice. Karen Riley, Executive Director of The SCRAP Gallery, has a talent of the heart. Her love of the planet and its inhabitants birthed this organization in 1997. Karen wanted to do something creative for the youth that involved the environment; she started with recycling.
The Student Creative Recycle Art Program (SCRAP) accepts donations. These donations provide students with unlimited art supplies, old CDs, artificial flowers, fabric samples, straws, cards, bicycles, etc. You would be surprised at what children can turn into art! Karen has a knack for incorporating environmental issues, peace, injustice, and hunger with any theme when she goes into the schools. The learning that arises from items that are overlooked or thrown away is invaluable. This program allows children to begin at a young age with an awareness of the environment and they can begin making a difference with simple actions, like sharing what is not eaten during a meal with others rather than throwing it away.
Karen emphasizes the four Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Responsibility. She helps people to increase awareness and create habits that will help extend the life of this planet, and thus our own lives. She is an example of one person who decided to make a difference.
The Student Creative Recycle Art Program (SCRAP) has been a hit! Karen has never heard a child say, “this is boring.” Children get it; they know they are making a difference and want to share it with others.
Karen has been able to reach children in the school system, scouts, and homeschooling, children could come by the gallery and get art kits to independently use. She is also able to be mobile, with a decorated, abandoned shopping cart, at local events!
Karen has traveled and taken her ideas with her to educate children in Hawaii, Italy, and Mexico!
There are several SCRAP programs and with Karen’s creativity and the help of the community, this list and its impact will surely grow. Www.scrapgallery.org shares at least 10 programs that range from the Walking for Water 6K to the “Good Cob, Bad Cob” program that teaches about GMOs and their effect on the environment.