2015 Community Impact Grant comes to Fruition......
January 4, 2017 - Florida Times Union - By Terry Dickson
Sculptures of coastal wildlife filled with litter intended to educate public
Lea King-Badyna, director of Keep Golden Isles Beautiful, is inviting volunteers to come to North Glynn Sport Complex Jan. 30 and pick up litter that will be used to fill the mesh body of a great blue heron sculpture that will be placed on permanent display at the park to demonstrate the effect litter has on the environment. (Terry Dickson/Florida Times-Union)
The sparks fly as Chet Floyd of Glynn County Public Works spot welds a fin back onto a mesh right whale sculpture that will be filled with litter Feb. 3 and put on display at the former Coast Guard station at East Beach on St. Simons Island. Lea King-Badyna, director of Keep Golden Isles Beautiful, said the whale and four other sculptures will be placed on display at parks in Brunswick and Glynn County to demonstrate the effect litter has on the environment. (Terry Dickson/Florida Times-Union)
It won’t be the first time anyone has referred to art as trash, but this time there’s no arguing the point.
Starting in about three weeks, volunteers will be asked to pick up litter that will be placed in mesh sculptures of coastal wildlife at five city and county parks to demonstrate the effect refuse has on the environment, said Lea King-Badyna, director of Keep Golden Isles Beautiful.
The sculptures, once their bodies are filled with hard plastic and aluminum litter, will remain on display at the parks with an educational component, King-Badyna said.
“It talks about litter,” she said of the interpretive signs that will be placed with each sculpture. “It talks about coastal critters and the effects litter has on the critters.”
The sculptures will be installed over a five-day period beginning with a great blue heron Jan. 30 at the North Glynn Sports Complex off Harry Driggers Boulevard, King-Badyna said.
The installations will be followed in order by a manatee at Overlook Park in Brunswick, a pelican at Mary Ross Park, a shrimp at Blythe Island Regional Park and a right whale at the former U.S. Coast Guard station at East Beach on St. Simons island.
There’s already a sculpture of a right whale and its calf at Neptune Park on the southern tip of St. Simons where children routinely climb on the big, concrete art. That won’t be possible with recycled litter sculptures, she said.
“Everything will go up in the air to prevent kids from climbing on them,” King-Badyna said. The sculptures combine public art access to litter recovery and prevention, she said in a prepared statement.
The community art and environmental education project is intended to provide cultural destination points for locals and tourists, she said.
“We hope the custom sculptures will spark dialogue and encourage stewardship regarding litter and our valuable coastal resources,” King-Badyna said.
The project is running a little late. The sculptures were to have been installed last summer, but the artist contracted to make the five mesh creatures didn’t deliver. A new provider was found in North Myrtle Beach, S.C., King-Badyna has said.
Keep Golden Isles Beautiful doesn’t have figures yet on the amount of refuse its volunteers cleared from roadways, waterways, marshes and public places in 2016, but in 2015, volunteers recovered 65.6 tons of litter and 60.7 tons of recyclables.
The project was paid for by two grants. One from the Communities of Coastal Georgia Foundation and the other from the Office of Coastal Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, through the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
For more information or to register as a volunteer for the project call (912) 279-1490 or send an email to .