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Make Art on Grand Scale at Redwood Grove

For three days the public is invited to participate in a public art project at Redwood Grove, one to help restore Adobe Creek, that you can watch change with time.

Ready to roll up your sleeves and make art while restoring a creek?

Armed with willow branches and other materials, environmental artist Daniel McCormick will direct volunteers to create a living sculpture at Adobe Creek on Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m.

Volunteers can sign up to work with the artist during the Martin Luther King weekend. Together, they will weave an aesthetic and functional design using natural.

The creation ultimately will serve to restore the creek, and to be a model for other cities interested in creek restoration, and in involving the public in a new way.

The , which opened in October 2011 at the , and are partnering in this effort using a grant from the Santa Clara Valley Water District.

"In the long term the willow will sprout and grow and the sculpture will disappear as nature takes over," said artist Linda Gass who conceived and directed the Shaped by Water exhibition.

"It's another way in which we are engaging the community to get involved with their local water resources and watershed—through making art," said Gass.

"This is an example of the kind of community building interactive art I would love to see more of in Los Altos!"

The project will help protect a 25-foot length of Adobe Creek. Last year, Acterra working with volunteers, removed invasive Arundo donax, also known as giant reed, leaving the stream bank bare. During this time, the bank has been covered by a tarp to prevent regrowth. The tarp was removed in mid-December and the site has been prepared for the sculpture made from live willow branches.

The branches will eventually take root and grow to provide habitat and stabilize the streambank.

Acterra received in Redwood Grove over four years. It included removal of invasive plants, adding native plants, and installing three small bank stabilization projects. The watershed sculpture one of those three, according to Junko Bryant, who works on the Redwood Grove project through Acterra. This funding supplements ongoing restoration work through Acterra's contract with the City of Los Altos.

McCormick, who has studied environmental design at UC-Berkeley, is known for his temporary sculptures that gradually become part of the environment. His other projects include two creeks in San Anselmo, the Corte Madera Creek and Sleepy Hollow Creek. He has also done a project in Arroyo Seco in Pasadena and Little Sugar Creek in Charlotte, NC.

Volunteers will help with tasks such as hauling branches and other materials, cutting, trimming, weaving and securing materials to the creek bank.

Training will be provided on-site. Two shifts are available each day from 9:30 – noon and 1 – 4 pm. Anyone is also welcome to come watch the installation in progress

Peg Champion January 14, 2012 at 09:38 PM
This is terrific! Thanks to Junko Bryant, Linda Gass and their team for creating this functional, beautiful, sustainable art project.
lessa bouchard January 15, 2012 at 04:04 AM
What a magical day! Folks of all ages making art, learning and enjoying the creek and helping to make a difference in the community. Thanks to everyone who was there today!
L.A. Chung (Editor) January 15, 2012 at 06:05 AM
There are two more days, so if you took pictures, upload them here, so potential volunteers get a sense of what it was like!

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