Louie Schwartzberg, an internationally recognized time-lapse photographer of nature, doesn’t like the fact that the average age of visitors to national parks is 57. No wonder, since Schwartzberg’s mission is nothing less than “the future of the planet.” And if it’s to be protected, he needs young people to do it. Louie’s plan of attack is to meet the next generations where they live. On their cell phones.

Click here for links to the app

So Schwartzberg has created a free phone app called “Moving Art” loaded with his spelling-binding photography—time lapses that become video. Bees pollinating flowers. Bats eating cactus flowers. Monarchs gathering in Mexico. All free with a click on the app. Scwartzberg told a full-house crowd at the March Wege Lecture in Meijer Gardens, “We protect what we love.” And the stunning visuals his cameras have captured on film are intended “to make you fall in love” with Mother Nature. His “Moving Art” app is how he hopes young people will “fall in love” with the planet they need to take care of.

For 35 years this Wege speaker has kept his cameras running 24/7 year around. And out of all those gazillion photographs, he has twelve hours of films. The films he featured at Meijer Gardens were about “The Hidden Beauty of Pollination.” As his audience sat mesmerized by the images of bees scattering pollen dust, Schwartzberg told them that “pollination is the source of life…we wouldn’t be here without flowers…one-third of the food we eat depends on them.”

Louie Schwartzberg’s inspiring presentation is exactly why the late Peter Wege set up these talks at his friend Fred Meijer’s botanical gardens. The Wege Foundation’s original logo asks the question, “Is the Planet Worth Saving?” Louie Schwartzberg is devoting his professional life to helping the world, especially young people, answer with a collective, “Yes!”

Wege Talk at Meijer Gardens Will Entertain and Educate

The personal friendship between Peter Wege and Fred Meijer resulted in many good works for West Michigan, including Meijer Gardens as Peter was one of the earliest benefactors. The picture here shows the two friends standing in a field that is now the home of Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park.

One of Peter’s and The Wege Foundation’s gifts to the Gardens was an endowment fund to bring in nationally recognized environmentalists to deliver the Wege Lecture. This year on Tuesday, March 24, at 7 p.m. videographer Louie Schwartzberg will share footage from his prize-winning film—narrated by Meryl Streep—Wings of Life. Schwartzberg’s high-definition, time-lapse films of Mother Nature at work, including Fred and Lena Meijer’s beloved and popular butterflies, are not only breathtaking, but also inspirational.

Louie Schwartzberg shares what’s behind these films he’s been producing for thirty years. “Beauty is nature’s tool for survival—you protect what you love. I hope my films inspire and open hearts. If I can move enough people on an emotional level, I hope we can achieve the shift in consciousness we need to sustain and celebrate life.”

He sounds a lot like Fred Meijer and Peter Wege talking about their shared vision for educating people about the need to care for and protect the natural world we live in—and the only one we have. David Hooker, President of Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, said since the Gardens opened twenty years ago this coming April, the Wege Lectures have been a great attraction for members and visitors. “In addition to the sculpture Fred loved and the horticulture Lena loved, our mission is also to support the environment and the arts. The Wege Lectures have been about all of those things.”