updated 9/28/2010 4:17:53 PM ET 2010-09-28T20:17:53

DETROIT, Sept. 28, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In specific response to pressing local and global issues involving environmental sustainability and earth care, Marygrove College, with funding support from DTE Energy, will host Nomkhubulwane (Nom-koo-bull-WAH-nee, Zulu for Mother Earth), an elephant sculpture created by South African sculptor Andries Botha. This life-size sculpture, made of galvanized steel and recycled truck tires, is traveling around the world to raise awareness about how people can creatively address issues caused by the expanding human ecological footprint. Nomkhubulwane is one of 17 elephants on display globally by the Human Elephant Foundation ( www.humanelephant.org ).

Nomkhubulwane will arrive on the Marygrove College campus on Oct. 8 and will be at Marygrove College for the first week of its stay before moving to Detroit's Cultural Center, Oct. 20 - Nov. 1, 2010.

During Marygrove's hosting of Nomkhubulwane, which also coincides with its hosting of the 2010 Great Lakes Bioneers Conference in Detroit, over 300 children from 20-30 area elementary, middle and high schools will participate in projects on the Marygrove College campus about how they can help care for "Mother Earth." Their education will be based on lesson plans and activities developed for The Human Elephant Foundation by the Civic Knowledge Project at the University of Chicago.

Subject matter will include:

  • "Elephants and "Emotion,"
  • "The Three Rs: Recycle, Reduce & Reuse,"
  • "Making Better Food Decisions,"
  • "Soil Painting,"
  • "Elephants and Trauma,"
  • "Environmental Terms & Crossword Puzzle,"
  • "How We Perceive the World" and
  • "Biodiversity and Me."

-- Marygrove College's Beyond Words Gallery will display student works related to the project. The Gallery will also have an exhibit that further explains the project, its purpose and the migration tour.

-- Once the sculpture travels to Detroit's Cultural Center, Marygrove will continue to be involved by partnering with other institutions on educational projects that engage area youth in Nomkhubulwane's message.

"The Nomkhubulwane project's focus on raising awareness about environmental issues through education and artistic expression make this effort one that the College gladly supports," said David J. Fike, Marygrove College President. "With the help of our sponsor DTE Energy, we are empowering over 300 Detroit school children with the knowledge and means of expression to begin meaningful conversations around ecological issues affecting their community."

On Oct. 20, after her stay at Marygrove College, Nomkhubulwane will "migrate" to the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in the Detroit Cultural Center, where she will reside until Nov. 1, 2010.


Founded by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) in 1905, Marygrove College is an independent liberal arts college and a Catholic institution of higher learning committed to developing leaders for the new global society. The main campus is situated on 53 wooded acres in northwest Detroit.

8425 W. McNichols Rd., Detroit, MI 48221


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