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Elevation: The Third Installation of Ashland’s Commitment to the Watershed and Environment

ASHLAND – The City of Ashland is proud to introduce the third installation in Ashland Watershed Group’s project Elevation, by Jacksonville artist Cheryl Garcia, located on the Bandersnatch trail. The sculpture, which features three blue birds flying toward the watershed, celebrates Ashland’s commitment to the stewardship of the watershed and the elevated efforts in preserving this beautiful area. The blue birds symbolize hope for younger generations to succeed in continuing to protect the environment.  

The Ashland Watershed Project was created to bond the people of Ashland and visitors to the wilderness that surrounds the city. The first installation in the series was a mosaic sculpture of the pacific Fisher, a rare animal found in the watershed, created by artist Jeremy Criswell. The pacific Fisher represents the commitment to protect this important habitat for the creatures who live in the forest watershed. It was named Marty to honor Marty Main, a forester and silviculture specialist in Ashland. The second piece Water is Life is a stone cairn, created by Karen Rycheck, symbolizes the connection and interdependence of the elements needed to create a healthy ecosystem. 

The Ashland Watershed Group, founding members Pam Marsh, Stef Seffinger and Sue Springer wish to acknowledge the generous donations by Haines and Friends, Kathryn and Barry Thalden and Jane Stromberg which made this project possible. They also wish to thank the Public Art Commission and advisory member, Dana Bussell, for the work and guidance in bringing these sculptures into the cities collection of public art. There are so many wonderful people who have committed their time and energy to the preservation of this precious resource. The Forest Lands Commission for their work in creating a master plan for Ashland's watershed. The Public Works Department for their assistance with placing these sculptures. 

The Ashland Park and Recreation Commission and staff for their assistance in this project as well as the many years they have put into maintaining the trails and forest lands in the park system. A special thanks to Jeff McFarland, who is retiring this July from Parks and Recreation, and Paul Bunyan of Ashland, for his many years of care of our forest areas and trails. Thank you also to Mayor Stromberg and Chris Chambers for their efforts in funding and bringing programs to Ashland including the Ashland Forest Resiliency Program to Ashland. Thanks to Lomakatsi and the Woodland Trails association for their contributions. It takes a village and cooperation between the city, Forest Department, nature conservancy and many individuals in the past who have lead these efforts.  

The ceremony for Elevation is scheduled for July 6 at 4 PM at the beginning of the Bandersnatch trail located on Glenview at the end of Lithia Park. There will be a sign at the entrance with parking available on Glenview and at the parking lot near the reservoir swimming area. All the artists of the sculptures have been invited and Cheryl Garcia will be presenting her inspiration for her piece as well as the process for its creation.

All are invited to raise a toast and celebrate this accomplishment. 
 

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