Elevated Wetlands: Art and Function Combined


Many years ago when people put cars ahead of the environment, they stuck a big highway down the middle of Toronto's Don Valley, the City's most dramatic natural feature. The Don River in the valley had long been little more than an open sewer. Artist Noel Harding was commissioned by the Canadian Plastics Industry Association "to create a public work of art that brings together both the plastics and art communities" and created the Elevated Wetlands almost ten years ago. Given what has happened since, it was a remarkably prescient work.


A solar panel-powered electric pump moves water from the Don River to the top of the structure, where it filters down through shredded tires, recycled resin pellets, automobile shredder residue and plastic bottles. According to the artist:

" A wetlands environment was created within plastic structures. Waste plastic is used as a soil substitute to filter water and sustain plant and tree growth. Certain vegetation, such as that commonly found in wetland areas, has a natural ability to remove pollutants from the environment -- a process known as phytoremediation. A selection of such plants, shrubs and trees are growing in the sculptural planters." ::Elevated Wetlands via ::Canadian Design Resource

UPDATE: Of course, Linton Hugged this 62 Days ago.