Professor Gary Carpenter
I looked farther into the history of the construction and logging that encroached on North Creek and specifically the fish and birds it affected as a result. I think the creek is a crucial aspect of the wetlands to concentrate on for a number of reasons. First of all, this creek once had an abundant salmon population, and used to spawn every year and make their way to/from the Puget Sound. The fact that the ecologists of the University of Washington Bothell are ecstatic to once again see salmon working their way through the creek simply means that it has been far too long. A dwindling salmon population is a direct precursor to a struggling bird population, especially with endangered species like the Bald Eagle inhabiting the wetlands.
The idea I am most interested in is using a fossil/footprint idea to literally represent the animals’ footprints they leave, and how we need to treat the area as if these animals are constantly surrounding us. In the case of the wetlands, it can be easy for people to look over the fact that there is a thriving ecosystem, because many of the animals are not always visible. Giving fish and birds sculpted representation with a brief description of their history, would bring light to the fact that these animals are very fragile and need our constant care and protection. This project will be relatively cheap, depending on the materials used. Simply carving/imprinting into wet concrete would do the trick in a cheap way, and if the first couple prints turned out poorly, it is no big deal to restart in terms of both time and money. Instead of simply having the animal print with the name underneath, I plan to create a game out of it. There will be a print, but the name will be covered by a small latch on hinge so that it becomes a guessing game. The reason for this is not simply for entertainment, but for people to develop a better understanding of the animals that inhabit the wetlands. Putting a face to a name (in this face a footprint) helps people to have more conscious awareness of the living things that surround them, hopefully resulting in a wider range of volunteers and supporters.
Budget: Hinges and screws will be 14.95 for two, and we will need 5, so the total for screws will be $45.00. Quickrete is $5.00 for 50 pounds, which should be plenty to do each footprint two or even three times, in case of a mistake. For the wood that covers the print, I think it would be resourceful to use fallen wood from within the wetlands. As long as there are some pieces that can fit over the prints, it would be simple to cut and sand down pieces.