Field Trip to Sand Island


Natural Resources and High School Art Students departed by boat from Little Sand Bay to Sand Island on May 21st. Students learned some history about the Island. In the 1870s primarily Norwegian immigrants came to the Island. They supported themselves by fishing and farming. Sand Island had the most extensive and successful agricultural settlement on the Apostle Islands. With a year-round community that numbered about one hundred at its peak, by 1944 the last year round residents left the island.

Once everyone arrived on the island South Shore students hiked two miles to the Lighthouse and had a picnic lunch. The Sand Island lighthouse, near the western end of the Apostle Island chain was built in 1881, it was the first of the group to be automated, in 1921. The structure was built from sandstone quarried right at the building site. The design of the lighthouse was influenced by the Gothic style, popular during the Victorian period. Students learned about nearby shipwrecks and about the wildlife and native plants on the island before hiking back to the East Bay.

Back on the East Bay students participated in Nature in Art activities. Students looked at examples of nature art by British artist Andy Goldsworthy. Goldsworthy is known for creating site specific installations using only the natural materials found around him. Students examined the beach, taking in to consideration the size, shape, color, and texture of the materials and got to work creating some very unique, sight specific sculptures.