New ArtWorks Sculpture to be Dedicated at Queeny Park!
May 23, 2016, St. Louis, MO - A new sculpture, designed by 20 St. Louis ArtWorks apprentices and commissioned by The Nature Conservancy, will be dedicated on Tuesday, June 7th at Edgar M. Queeny Park in St. Louis County at 9a.m. The sculpture was recently installed on the banks of Owl Creek, a tributary of the Meramec River, as part of the “Growing a Healthy Meramec” project.
The Growing a Healthy Meramec project, funded through a $100,000 gift from The Boeing Company, raises awareness of the importance of this freshwater resource, and demonstrates how native plants keep our rivers healthy by stabilizing streambanks and slowing runoff.
The 8-foot tall stainless steel sculpture, titled “Where Rivers Flow, Trees Grow”, depicts a fish-filled stream flowing into a majestic tree with leafy branches. Native plants help maintain the health of our vital water resources, such as wildlife habitat, drinking water, and recreational opportunities.
The apprentices gained inspiration for the sculpture design during tours of key waterways in the St. Louis-area. “We took our sketchbooks, to draw animals and plants we saw along the creek and rivers,” said Tyson, an apprentice with the sculpture team. “We saw fish, turtles, and birds, and decided on an owl in the tree, to represent Owl Creek.”
Installed near the sculpture is a sign to share its message of conservation and the importance of healthy waterways in St. Louis, as well as the names of the artists and creative youth of St. Louis ArtWorks who designed and constructed the work of art: Teaching Artists, Lauren Rogalsky and Deborah Alma Wheeler, Metal Artist-Fabricator, Warren Sauer of L.E. Sauer Machine Company, and Apprentices Juwaun Crawford, Ry’Shod Gilmore, Equan Hopson, Indya Hughes, Victor Johnson, Tyson Johnson, Derrick Jones, Charisma Jordan, Derrick Latimore, Johnelle McGee , Cameron Mosley, CaRavin Reed, Cayla Rodgers, Graham Schroff, Tajuan Selfe, Donald Shaw, and Jahon Spence.
Dr. Steve Herrington, the Conservancy’s Missouri Director of Freshwater Conservation, led the tour and a discussion about the water cycle and the importance of protecting our water resources.
“This project brings together the emotion evoked by art, and the empiricism of science,” said Herrington. “It’s great to see the apprentices get excited about our natural world, and it was a wonderful opportunity to show them how we can keep our waters clean and healthy.”
A second component of the project included two tree plantings, which were completed by the Ozark Regional Land Trust and the Open Space Council for the St. Louis Region. More than 4,000 Oak, Hickory and native Missouri woodland tree seedlings were planted in Queeny Park, including the areas near Owl Creek - an ideal site, as existing conservation efforts at the park increase success rates and reduce maintenance costs.
The Growing a Healthy Meramec project is part of Water Matters, a regional initiative headed up by The Nature Conservancy and the Nine Network of Public Media, to raise awareness and understanding of the connection between the health of our water and the health of our lands, people, and economies. For more information, please visit ninenet.org/watermatters.
The Meramec River is a critical water resource for St. Louisans and native wildlife. It provides drinking water to 70,000 households and supports a variety of species, such as elephant-ear mussels and crystal darter minnows, some of which are found nowhere else on Earth. The Meramec is remarkably diverse and intact, but its health is at risk from excessive sediment and runoff. The Nature Conservancy is working with partners to protect this important river, starting with a groundbreaking conservation action plan completed in 2014 (nature.org/meramecrivercap).
Through its Global Corporate Citizenship organization, Boeing builds better communities worldwide by giving time, funding, and expertise to improve access to globally competitive learning as well as workforce and skills development, sustain the environment, and support active employee volunteerism. In 2014, a total of $188 million from The Boeing Company, its employees and retirees went to help improve communities across the globe. Visit the Boeing Corporate Citizenship Report for more information.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Together with our members and conservation partners, the Conservancy has protected more than 150,000 acres of critical Missouri lands since 1956. The Conservancy is leading efforts to protect the Meramec River; the organization recently unified 29 partners to complete and begin implementing a Conservation Action Plan for the river. Visit us on the Web at nature.org/missouri.
Since 1995, St. Louis ArtWorks has provided apprenticeship opportunities for thousands of young people, successfully helping to prepare them for future education and employment opportunities. ArtWorks bridges economic, racial, and social divisions by providing underserved youth with arts education, workforce development training, and 21st century life skills. In 2015, ArtWorks celebrated 20 years of creating opportunities for St. Louis youth with a move to 5959 Delmar in the Loop East. The new building includes traditional and digital art studios, a pollinator garden, and a MakerSpace. For more information, visit stlartworks.org.
The Nine Network of Public Media is a multifaceted public media organization creating a network of individuals and organizations empowered by public media to strengthen civic life. One of the nation’s most watched public television stations, Nine offers the people of the St. Louis region multiple ways to explore the world and become engaged in civic life, including the Nine Center for Public Engagement, nineNet.org and four distinct broadcast channels (Nine PBS, Nine World, Nine Create and Nine Kids). The Nine Network’s rich legacy of serving the community was launched in 1954 and continues through our mission of bringing St. Louis together as we connect our region to the world and the world to St. Louis. For more information, visit ninenet.org.
Building on a legacy of knowledge and experience, the Open Space Council for the St. Louis Region works independently and collaboratively to conserve and sustain land, water and other natural resources throughout the St. Louis region. Through invasive species restoration, tree plantings, and river cleanups, the OSC engages citizens to improve regional public open spaces. For more information, visit openspacestl.org.
The Ozark Regional Land Trust is part of a rapidly expanding land conservation movement throughout the United States that now includes more than 1,700 land trusts. Founded in 1984, ORLT has over 100 projects protecting more than 25,000 acres of land throughout the Ozark region, primarily through the use of conservation easements. It has been instrumental in working with private landowners to protect many natural and geological features such as waterfalls, caves, springs, bluffs, forests, prairies, glades, rivers, and wetlands. ORLT also preserves urban greenspace, agricultural lands, historic places, and sensitive ecological sites. For more information, visit orlt.org.
ATTENTION ST. LOUIS COMMUNITY: You are invited to attend the sculpture dedication at Edgar M. Queeny Park on Tuesday, June 7, at 9a.m. If poor weather precludes the ceremony, the dedication will be held the following day, Weds., June 8 at 9a.m.