This body of work was inspired by a month-long class that met each week at the Chicago Botanical Gardens. Walks led by ecologists, aquatic curators and plant scientists introduced me to the world beyond the landscape. Nature in its purest form provided the classroom that inspired me to map the biodiversity of the forest, translate flora and fauna into gestural forms of colors and textures, and articulate the threats imposed by invasive species both botanical and human. Human beings are an integral, inseparable part of the natural world, and our health depends ultimately on the health of all species and on the natural functioning of its ecosystems. After a month at the gardens, I was changed: my art changed, and my world view changed as I began to realize just how much we had at stake.