The first of three design enhancements that will highlight the new bridges is almost complete. Lillian Pitt’s “River” depicts in glossy stainless steel a canoe, waves, reeds, a crescent moon and fish. These elements were all central to the life of the Kalapuya people, Native Americans who lived in the Willamette Valley before Europeans arrived. “River” will soon be joined by “Camas Basket,” by rhiza A+D, and Devin Laurence Field’s “Blue Camas Basket”; all are Oregon artists.
The design enhancements exist because of the community volunteers who made up the Citizens Advisory Group and Design Enhancements Steering Committee.
I have had the great fortune of working mainly with the DESC, a group of talented and passionate people who understand this community and love this place. A few are artists themselves and skillfully assessed elements that would complement what is beautiful about the location. Other members knew a lot about the Kalapuya tribal heritage, which became the theme of the design enhancements.
The work of the DESC continues beyond the completion of the bridge construction: interpretive signage, seating and landscaping elements, and a native prairie restoration project.
Goodwill and great results arise when people from all walks of life cooperate toward a communal goal. I am in awe of the skills and passion of these volunteers, who continue to donate their time because they care about where they live.
CAG member David Sonnichsen published his take on the design enhancements in an op-ed that ran today in the Eugene Register-Guard: