For the wetlands project, I came up with the idea of building a metal sculpture of a great blue heron standing on a man-made pond for its environment. The great blue heron reminds me of the time when I went to a camping trip to spend time with my family in Washington Coast. In the morning, my family and I would walk to the beach to go clam and oyster digging. Sometimes I would see a few blue herons standing on the edge of the creeks to hunt for food. I was very inspired of its s-shaped neck, its large wingspan, white and dark blue feathers, it head and its legs. I thought its figure looked pretty much similar to the red crowned cranes moving gracefully in Japan. When I thought about the red crowned crane, it reminds me of a couple of metal crane sculptures standing in the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Great blue herons played a huge role in the wetlands. It is around 45-54 inches tall, has a wingspan of 66-79 inches, and a head to tail length of 36-54 inches. Its long legs could waddle in the shallow water and they spear its prey with its bill. They hunt for frogs, small fish, insects, aquatic creatures and small crustaceans. These herons thrived in North America, from Alaska, Canada all the way to South America all year round. They lived in fresh and saltwater marshes, mangrove swamps, lake edges and shorelines. The great blue heron is a similar species to the great white heron, reddish egret, and the little blue heron. But these birds are smaller in size, lack of white feathers on the head and no yellow bill, not to be mistaken from the great blue heron. Most of the sculpture is constructed out of metal sheets and rods. The materials that I would consider to construct this project are metal rods to build as a frame and as a solid foundation, then some sheets of metal can be welded together and stick on the frame to hold the shape of the statue. Then I would add a few coats of protective material onto the statue. I am also planning to construct a “mini” pond and a waterfall-like fountain for the environment. There will rocks placed in a neat organized pile and water will flow down from the top pile of rocks and there would be a waterfall present. There would be different types of plant species growing between the rocks and along the pond. Then I would place the metal heron sculpture somewhere adjacent to the waterfall. A concrete wall would surround the man-made pond/fountain. A description of the history of the wetlands and the statue would also be engraved onto a copper plate and then welded onto the concrete wall. I would also build a metal nest with metal rods.
The purpose of building the Sarah Simonds Green Conservatory Sculpture is to draw people’s attention to the importance of the wetlands, to the success and history of this restoration project and the Sarah Simonds Green Conservatory. The Sarah Simonds Green conservatory is named from Dr. Gordon Green to honor his mother and the legacy of his pioneering Bothell family that has long ties to UW Bothell. There is something unique about the heron that caught my attention. I was fascinated with the concept of the heron’s breeding. Great blue herons breed in colonies called “heronry” in trees closer to the lakes and other wetlands. They nest alongside with other heron species and the size of one colony could range between 5-500 nests. They build bulky stick nests and usually a female heron lays about 3-6 pale blue eggs. These eggs are incubated at around 28 days and they hatch in several days. Some predators of those eggs could be reptiles, eagles, turkey vultures, hawks and bears. If the nest is destroyed or abandoned or disturbed by human activities, the female blue heron would replace another clutch. Both parents feed their young in the nest by regurgitating food into the young’s mouths. Adult herons consume four times as much food to feed the chicks.
I would spend most of the budget on metal sheets, metal rods, coating, iron nails and welding material. I would probably not exceed up to $15,000 when buying materials. This sculpture and the wetland will be placed on the center of the wetlands. So, when you walk into the entrance of the wetlands, there’s a straight pathway that leads to the wetland fountain and the heron sculpture. There would be lights installed near the fountain to make the heron sculptures and the man-made wetland to stand out at night. The proposed size of the great blue heron sculptures would be about 45 to 54 inches tall.