Wetland Art Installation Commemorates Citizen Activism
In June, a team of local artists called Re-Collective created an art installation—the Gate to Nowhere—on one of the soon-to-be-removed “ramps to nowhere” in the Arboretum wetlands. The team wrapped one the ramp’s support piers in mirrored plastic so that the piers would the watery surroundings and “disappear.” The temporary installation commemorates the citizen activism in the late 1960s and early 1970s that halted the construction of the R.H. Thomson Expressway through the Arboretum.
It will remain in place at least through the summer and perhaps into fall, when work on the new 520 West Approach Bridge North is expected to begin in earnest.
In related news, this April the Arboretum Foundation board and the Arboretum Botanical Garden Committee voted to support a local grassroots effort to preserve some pieces of the “ramps to nowhere” during the 520 bridge replacement and use them to create a memorial to the expressway activists. The commemorative feature will be built in the new North Entry of the Arboretum, once the final phases of bridge construction and wetland restoration are completed.