Five-year-old girl raises money to benefit Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve
“Ever since she was little we have been very connected to nature,” said Katherine’s mother, Beth Lasky. “We go on a lot of hikes, we skied, we’d walk in the woods, we’d bike, and so she’s just always been very naturally interested in the environment.”
That interest led Katherine to pursue artistic nature creations of her own, of which she sold to raise money for the Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve, Depew. On Saturday, Nov. 3, at Knights of Columbus, Cheektowaga, Katherine presented $150 to Friends of Reinstein President Terry Boyle. The presentation coincided with “Nature’s Gathering: An Evening of Art, Wine and Cheese” event, that was also held to raise money for the preserve.
“She’s amazing,” said Boyle. “She’s very inspiring and I think eventually she will be painting bigger and better things.”
When Katherine first learned about rock painting from her friend Emily, she became inspired to make art, using nature. Her parents adored her interest and eagerness to be creative, so they developed an area in their backyard for her to work. She then began painting the shape of leaves and flowers onto her rocks, and the more she practiced, the better artist she became.
After paying a visit to the Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve, she noticed ribbons tied around certain trees. She was soon told that the ribbons were marking trees that were infected by the Emerald Ash Borer, a beetle that attacks ash trees. After hearing this news, little Katherine became visibly upset and asked her mother if there was any way she could help.
“We thought well we can sell these things she’s making at the Ridgewalk and Run in Wellsville because people there are so connected to nature,” said Lasky. “She just wanted to do something, so I said, “Honey why don’t we take the money that you make and help the trees.” She loved the idea, so she painted 60 rocks and made 20 placemats, and people were just so inspired by her story.”
Katherine sold her rocks and placemats for $2 each; every penny she earned was to help vaccinate the trees and raise awareness about Reinstein Woods.
“She dedicated her time and efforts to help us fund educational programs about environmental awareness. It is amazing that someone at this age has the inspiration to help Reinstein Woods,” said Boyle.
Katherine’s family hopes her donation will inspire other children to do what they can to help Mother Nature. The tiny tike’s generosity shined even more at the event when her mother gave her $15 to spend on whatever painting she liked.
“I told her today was a very special day, so when we got here I told her you have an extra $15; so she picked up a painting and she had them wrap it up and then she gave it to me,” said Lasky. ”She’s just a very giving little girl.”
For more information about the Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve call 683-5959.