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july 2015 | by susan jurasz | show project

Imagine building a gigantic bird’s nest, stick by stick, one large enough to fit all your friends… Of course, it helps if all your friends help you build it too.

Sometimes a project has all the elements of imagination, art, fantasy, and fun. For several years, Sea Reach has been working with Mount Pisgah Arboretum in Eugene to develop an interpretive program that inspires visitors to look more closely at the natural world around them—or at least to see aspects of the natural world around them that may previously passed by without notice. There will be seven to eight interpretive nodes at the Arboretum. Each node is different, and all designed to inform the visitor and delight the senses.

The first node, under construction now, is the "Water Garden"—a raised platform along a slough that’s seasonally flooded by the west fork of the Willamette River—the wetter areas full of lily pads and the edges a wild jungle of riparian species. If you’re lucky, in the wetter season, you can glimpse a turtle basking in the sun. In the drier season, you might hear a pileated woodpecker tapping out a beat in search of insects.

The node consists of a viewing blind and a walk-through tunnel, constructed of aluminum poles and hand-woven filbert and willow branches. Windows—high and low—allow for a variety of perspectives on the seasonal wetland.

Interested in being part of the weaving party? Volunteers are welcome: contact the Arboretum here!