New Earth Resiliency Training Module

The New Earth Resiliency Training Module (NERTM) is a series of tours, workshops and sessions organized by artist Tattfoo Tan that highlight climate change, preparedness, and resiliency by training self-reliance and the ethos of living closer to the earth within an urban environment. The project explores these and related topics in the context of Freshkills Park and Staten Island communities.

meditationwalkMeditation Walk with Thupten Phuntsok and The Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art

Venerable Thupten Phuntsok and artist Tattfoo Tan have led three meditative nature walk through Freshkills Park. Meditation is the practice of calming one’s mind and focusing
on one point. In a walking meditation, the walk is the focus. These walks
suggest closer connections with our land within a greater urban environment.


bugoutbag Adirondack Pack Basket Workshop

Participants learned how to make their own pack baskets during a free two-day workshop with Linda Scherz Allen of Adirondack Basketry. Pack baskets are woven by hand using techniques that have been passed down through generations. Wilderness guides, hunters and trappers used the pack basket to carry what they took with them into the woods.


Shelter Building Workshop (at Freshkills Park Discovery Day)

Tattfoo worked with Urban Park Rangers to demonstrate shelter building techniques during a Discovery Day event at the park.



“Horo” Group Ride (at Freshkills Park Discovery Day)

Tattfoo Tan led a group ride in which riders were dressed in “horo” (which translates to “arrow catcher”), a resilient silk cloak worn by warriors on horseback in feudal Japan. This trip emphasized urban cycling safety and suggested different forms for protective gear.


resiliencylibraryNEPSK – Pemmican and Comfrey Salve Demo (at Freshkills Park BioBlitz!)

Tattfoo Tan showed students how to make natural and traditional supplies from their gardens as part of BioBlitz! at Freshkills Park. In partnership with Macaulay Honors College, nature lovers and citizen scientists canvassed one section of Freshkills Park to count all of the birds, reptiles, mammals, fish, and plants that call this park home.


“Bug out bag” Demo (at Freshkills Park Greenway Opening)

Participants learned about the different sizes of available backpacks, what they are used for, what necessary supplies to put in them, and then start to train by walking with the weight. This took place during the celebration of the opening of the 3.2-mile New Springville Greenway, a bike and pedestrian path along the eastern edge of Freshkills Park.


resiliencylibrary2Resiliency Library (Freshkills Park Volunteer Cleanup)

During a cleanup at Schmul Park, volunteers received their own special edition field notebook as part of the ongoing series of UnCommon Pages workshops. Tattfoo Tan bound books with paper made from Phragmites and included an enclosed reading list of online resources and books on various survival skills.

Video: Tattfoo Tan

Video: Sebastian Choe

Select programs were made possible with support from the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation and  by an Original Work Grant from Staten Island Arts, with public funding from the New York State Council on the Arts.

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