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Water Cycle Wall Interpretive Signage

Joe McGrane
West of Drake Rd. on Spring Creek Trail

The interpretive elements for the Water Cycle Wall site complete the vision established by the City after the flood of 1997. They draw more trail users into the space and help to develop positive values and an understanding of urban watershed management goals and processes.

A series of interpretive nodes are located along the winding path that connects the wall site to the Spring Creek Trail. These overlooks are marked with arcs of flat, sandstone boulders that are oriented to interesting features and views. They are designed as a rhythmic and repetitive element that moves you along the path. 

The signs for these nodes are sculptural and draw their imagery from the lapping form of the Water Washes the Earth sculpture. Like the watershed, they are broad at the top and narrow at the base with a gentle curve that anchors them to the landscape. The interpretive panels include a combination of hand graphics, photographs, and text.  Their messages reflect the City Utilities management goals for the watershed and the evolution of the creek’s form.

A 10’ diameter stone cairn creates a special marker and entrance to the space. Its sculptural form reflects the mounded landscape and soft curves of the path and stream. It is constructed of thin red sandstone to match the wall veneer and paving.

This project was the third piece at the Water Cycle Wall site. It was designed to  reinforce, complement, and expand upon the interpretive themes established by Janet Austin’s 2002 installation, Water Sculpts the Earth and Water Washes the Earth by Joe McGrane, created in 2005.