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Water Washes the Earth

Joe McGrane
West of Drake Rd. on the Spring Creek Trail

As viewers approach the site moving west along Spring Creek Trail, a large hand-sculpted landscape form appears, flowing over a low retaining wall. Brightly colored with green, blue, and red mosaic tile-the sculpture functions as a basin to collect water from mist towers above.

Water Washes the Earth references the cleansing aspect of water, specifically as it relates to water quality within the context of the Spring Creek watershed. Viewers are be able to activate the mist by the simple push of a button located in the retaining wall. Small steel icons represent activities and elements that affect runoff and water quality: images of a house, a dog, soap, fertilizer (N-P-K), and a car. Small steel "dams" are placed in the undulating topography to illustrate concepts of storm-water management. The water for the mist towers is captured in this "watershed," and washes over the wall into a carved stone basin at grade level, ultimately flowing into a small area of native grasses.

The site is used as part of the City's Utilities Education Program, where participants can learn about the watershed process, natural habitat ecology, and more.

This project was the second piece on 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 EarthInterpretive signage by Joe McGrane was added in 2010.