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River Campus Features and Public Art

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We send our thanks to the many, generous donors who helped build the River Campus!

Formally opened in April 2017, the River Campus is an educational and cultural site that incorporates the visions of highly skilled public artists with interactive exhibits of the natural and human-managed systems that provide our life-giving water.

River Campus elements are compelling examples of science interpreted through public art:

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Headwaters
by Matt Grover

Where does our water come from? High in the Sawtooth Mountains, snow falls and melts, seeping into the soil and running through tributaries into the Boise River. Matt Grover has used historic data from Snow Water Equivalent data (SWE) to create a 10′, three-sided stainless steel sculpture to represent our headwaters.

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Lucky Peak Dam and Reservoir by Byron Folwell
Named Fluxion, this interactive sculpture is composed of three distinct parts: the east concrete reservoir representing Lucky Peak Reservoir; the interactive steel dam sculpture; and the spillway, representing the Boise River. Large valves along the face of the dam allow visitors to control the flow of water.

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The City of Trees
In this landscaped gathering place symbolizing our city grid, artist Amy Westover, with Dwane Carver, has installed Mapping Infrastructure, a series of tree grates that represent fire hydrants, sewer lines and sewer manholes.

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Wastewater Treatment Plant
Connected to the City of Trees is a representation of the West Boise Wastewater Treatment Facility, with circular pavers that replicate the clarifiers that clean our wastewater. An actual 91″ sewer trunk enters the treatment plant showing the size of infrastructure needed to transport our waste. Thanks to Eagle Sewer District, MWH, now part of Stantec, and Russell Corporation.

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Boise River and Wading In by Michael Anderson
A channel of water meandering through the River Campus is representative of the Boise River. Children may play in the shallow river, make dams, and experiment with water flow. Along the river and the “Green Belt” pathway are ceramic relief panels created by Michael Anderson that depict aquatic life in and around the Boise River.

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Stormwater/Beaver Dam by Ken McCall
A storm drain and accompanying interpretive signage, shows the need to protect urban pollutants from entering the Boise River. Nearby is Beaver Dam, a railing that takes its inspiration from the intricate construction of beaver dams. Thanks to Partners for Clan Water.
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Perfect World
by Reham Aarti

This expansive mosaic consists of over 270,000 individual industrial glass tiles that the artist placed by hand. Perfect World depicts the impact that land surface use has on the soil and water below. The mosaic is designed to teach about urban agriculture and how important it is to conserve water individually and collectively. Thanks to Ada Soil and Water Conservation District.

Rural Agriculture and Dixie Drain
A demonstration area of agricultural irrigation is composed of two planted fields with different methods of applying irrigation water. The Dixie Drain, Boise’s innovative phosphorus removal facility is also depicted here. Thanks to Ada Soil and Water Conservation District.

Permeable Pavement Parking Lot
The River Campus parking lot is paved with permeable materials providing an immediate introduction to water wise practices that can be an implemented into homes and businesses.

Intermittent Wetlands
A wetlands is an important feature in nature that cleanses runoff water and creates healthy ecosystems. This teaching site will demonstrate how wetlands are the link between land and water – a transition zone that is a nursery of life providing irreplaceable benefits for people.

Interactive Trail
Designed for children, the trail leads to five discovery play areas. Each of the five activities are designed to teach an environmental concept in a hands-on way: Nature’s Loom, Tributary Balance Streams, Shape-A-Shelter, Jumbo Jenga, and River Rock Art will each provide hours of fun with children learning through play. Thanks to SUEZ, Micron Foundation, and Ada County Woodworkers.