365 Day Controlled Burn Marsh Documentary Completed

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Lisa Loucks-Christenson, a Rochester, Minnesota native, completed her 365 day documentary on April 7, 2006. Loucks-Christenson’s book, WALK THE BURN: A 365 Day Journey, will be available in Spring 2007. Loucks-Christenson documented over 400,000 images during this daily documentary regrowth of a controlled burn marsh in the Whitewater Management Area in Altura, Minnesota. The book is both a photo essay of the flora and fauna in the marsh returning and a diary of the marsh shown from the marshes perspective. Two exhibits are planned, WINTER BUGS! opens Winter 2006 and is a collection of over 250 species of insects Loucks-Christenson documented while in the marsh during Winter 2005-2006. Many of these species are as small or smaller than a grain of sand. The second exhibit, Walk The Burn: A 365 Day Journey, is a photo collection opening in Spring 2007 to promote the release of her book.

Lisa Loucks-Christenson has done it! Not just a one week story, or a couple months, but an entire 365 consecutive day journey, trudging through all four seasons to document life in a Minnesota marsh during and after a controlled burn.

Friends, family, and local news arrived to celebrate this special project’s end. Loucks-Christenson's book, WALK THE BURN: A 365 Day Journey, is scheduled for release in April 2007.

During the year, Loucks-Christenson documented over 2000 species of flora and fauna in a marsh and their struggle for survival.

While creating this project, Loucks-Christenson strived to shoot at the same time each day to stay consistent with the activities and lighting.

The 365 day journey began with smoke and fire and ended with sleet and rain. This reflects the emotions she felt as she stepped through the exit of the marsh to rejoin her family and friends.

A self-funded, soul-inspiring journey to the center of survival is what Loucks-Christenson recorded during this one year photo essay. A story that goes deeper than a lightening-struck tree. Witness the readiness of the red-wing blackbirds towering over their young until they fly, the destruction of animals’ nests, and those that met death on the highway. This book will move hearts as they encounter animals’ struggle to survive, the devastation, the drought, the deaths, and the elements of nature combating life forces in this controlled burn marsh.

Around 400,000 images were recorded during this daily documentary of the regrowth of a controlled burn marsh through all four seasons. The story begins while Loucks-Christenson was ten days into a sandhill crane study in the Whitewater Management Area in Southeastern Minnesota.

Knowing her nephew Forrest Loucks and her daughter Emme both wanted to see the sandhill cranes, she packed some lunches and drove them down through the Whitewater Management Area to show them these engaging creatures. What Loucks-Christenson, Forrest Loucks, and Emme Christenson thought was just another bend on HWY 74N turned into a one year journey when they rounded the corner and found the DNR staff burning a marsh.

From April 8, 2005 through April 8, 2006 Journey Loucks-Christenson documented over 2000 species of flora and fauna in this marsh.

In total, over 800 species of water and land insect species were documented. The final count is still being tallied, but around 300 of these species were shot during the winter season alone. Many of these species were as small or smaller than a grain of sand. This was the micro experience Loucks-Christenson recorded while also documenting the expected marsh life of birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fungi, and flora.

Loucks-Christenson selected over 100 daily stops and shot the same subject at these stops throughout all four seasons. Some of these subjects made it the entire year; however, most didn't. From plants that were eaten by rabbits, to deer scrapes, to trees hit by lightening and wind, to hail and the unknown, Loucks-Christenson added to this journey what she documented and felt while working through the sometimes unforgiving weather elements and its impact on one small marsh over the course of a year.

You'll see and feel the walk Loucks-Christenson traveled through her words and photos. You'll experience firsthand the story of the marsh. In this daily journal of photos, you'll meet the various visitors. You'll not only see the mushrooms, but the mushroom hunters, the wild turkey and the turkey hunters, the squirrels and the squirrel hunters, the does and the bucks versus the deer hunters, and the ducks escaping the duck hunters. Every day, you'll walk alongside the devotion of the DNR staff keeping this land well-managed, well cared for and see up-close how they have an intimate and the ultimate role in keeping the balance in this land.


Excerpts from the book and photo packages available for distribution.

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