Our Land—A Community Cleanup for the North Slope of Alaska.
Type: Community Event
Role: Creator/Director of Our Land.
Timeline: 1 year
When you live at the top of the world it can be difficult to keep litter in check. Our Land is an annual cleanup extravaganza designed to unite and motivate the community of Barrow, Alaska, and others across the North Slope, to rid their villages of trash during the snow-free months of summer. The program asks local entities to host cleanup events — provide food, cleaning supplies, and giveaways — in order to help create fun and inviting environments for the whole community to join in on.
Over the course of one year I conceptualized, designed, presented the initiative to local entities for sponsorship, organized a four person committee, and successfully implemented the program in summer 2016.
Adobe After Effects
Directed by Jaden Nethercott
Music: Trevor O'Laughlin
Filmed in Partnership with UIC
An elder (voiced by Ida Olemaun) gives a wake up call to the North Slope residents that they need to take better care of the environment in order to help preserve it for future generations and to demonstrate their love and respect for the land—a traditional Inupiat value.
Helping All of Us
to Take More Responsibility for the Land.
The cleanup initiative, Our Land, aims to help the communities across the North Slope to become more aware of the large amounts of trash that have accumulated on the land and to provide specific events that are dedicated to promote the proper disposal of litter.
In Barrow, Alaska, the cleanups took place on July 25th-30th, 2016. Each event was sponsored by a different local corporation and averaged 144 bags of trash that were properly disposed of per day. Over the course of the week—using the city's already established, but not well known, car removal program—over 8 junk cars were removed from residents' yards. With over 700 participants and 864 bags of trash collected, the program was nothing short of a success for the small rural community.
2016 Community Cleanup
Bags of Trash Disposed
July 25–30, 2016
July 25–30, 2016
Facebook Page Likes
June - Aug., 2016
The branding for Our Land was critical to the success of the initiative. Due to the largely Inupiat populated communities, it was important that the logo reflected the landscape, as well as the culture of the area, and be graphically memorable.
The current logo is based on the blanket toss of the Inupiat holiday, Nalakatuq (the celebration of spring whaling), in which people are thrown into the air in order to see whales on the horizon for future whaling. In this sense, the logo's jumping person symbolizes looking to the future, while the curvy cut-outs are representative of the landscape's tundra and Arctic Ocean.
DISPLAY FONT — BESOM 2
Live Less Out of habit and more out of intent.
PRIMARY FONT — QANELAS
The Explorer was frozen in his big kayak just after making queer discoveries.
We have a large pool of elders and people who educate us about our values and our way of life and one of those includes respect for nature.
The color palette for Our Land was inspired by the unique colorations of the sky and tundra surrounding Barrow, Alaska, during the summer days of 24 hour sunlight.
PRIMARY COLOR PALETTE
SECONDARY COLOR PALETTE
Get the Word Out
and Bring the Community In.
In order to get the community of Barrow excited about the summer cleanups, a poster series and an infographic were created with imagery and statistics of the trash in the area. To also assist in getting people involved, Our Land designed colorful Hi-Viz t-shirts to be worn and given away at each event. The t-shirts are still being worn proudly by citizens of the community.
Our Land utilized social media, a dedicated website, radio shows and newspaper articles to help notify the public and get people excited about the cleanups. Online marketing was relatively new for Barrow, but with the introduction of 4G in the summer of 2016, it proved to be successful in garnering support.
The youth are the future and in order to make a true difference in improving the environment, they need to be involved. This is why Our Land for Youth (OLY) was created. OLY is a designated cleanup event for the youth that allows them to participate in picking up trash and then participate in a fun filled beach bonfire party that celebrates the land, the community, and the Inupiat culture. The event allows them to join in with the community and make a difference. OLY also comes with uniquely branded t-shirts that the youth can wear with pride.
Conclusion and Personal Thoughts.
The Our Land Cleanup Initiative is the project that sold me on the power of design. After a lot of conceptualization during the fall of 2015, I sat down one weekend in November and created the designs for the cleanup initiative that I then later presented (with a project proposal booklet and keynote) to over six local corporations in an attempt to gain support for the project.
Over the course of the next eight months, seven entities agreed to help sponsor the five day cleanup, four incredible individuals volunteered to serve on my committee to help make it a reality, and together we were able to successfully launch the program in July 2016. Never could I have possibly imagined the amount of community support and participation the project received and it inspires me to continue to use my talents to help benefit others wherever I go.