This summer, participants in the Arboretum’s Outdoor Artists Camp created art for a cause. Campers received recycled mascara wands from Wands for Wildlife, an Asheville-based nonprofit that promotes care of injured and orphaned wildlife.

Wands for Wildlife inspires people to help wildlife and the environment through re-purposing discarded mascara wands for use in wildlife care, art and education. ​The organization engages people in ways to support wildlife caregivers and encourages greater mindfulness of the impact from human activities, including the use of plastics, on the environment. Campers created artwork based on promoting the plight of the monarch butterfly, which recently was added to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as an endangered species. Their artwork will be displayed at a later date in the first floor of the Education Center.

“We are thrilled to partner with the NC Arboretum for another summer camp wand art project. It is truly amazing to see what a small disposable piece of plastic can be turned into,” said Tashi Brewster, Wands for Wildlife Founder and Executive Director. “I am in awe of what the amazing youth created.”

See more photos of the campers and their work below!