Monday, April 12, 2010

Decker's Creek Project

Sunday our family took part in an Eco Art Project Thingy organized by Basia Irland, a visiting artist at WVU. Many people walked, biked, kayaked, and waded the length of Decker's Creek, which if you aren't familiar, is an historic waterway that runs from Arthurdale through Morgantown.

Our group was made up of my cousin Malissa, her three daughters, her future sister-in-law, and me, Keith and Delia (and a dog, who is apparently really good at math). We symbolically carried the water in a baby stroller. Of course we did not actually get the water anywhere near the baby, because although Friends of Decker's Creek is working on improving the water quality, the creek water is contaminated by acid mine drainage and untreated sewer overflow. There are signs posted near the beginning of the Decker's Creek rail trail that explicitly warn people of the dangers hidden in the water.

Naomi got to carry the Symbolic Backpack. I thought that was cool until I heard the artist say they "painted" it with creek mud. I might be too sensitive to microorganisms and heavy metals, but that gave me the creeps.

Basia Irland seemed like a real nice lady. I hear she has done projects like this before with other waterways. She didn't seem too afraid of getting a staph infection from the water, so I guess I should just chill out about it.

Here Malissa is putting some creek water into the Symbolic Vessel that was made for the project. (which is somewhat funny to me, because Malissa and Nature have never been particularly close). By the time the Vessel made it to us, barely a mile from the end of the trail, it no longer had a stopper, and so the bag it was in and the logbook were all wet.

I guess my fear of waterborne illness really spoiled the whole thing for me. We didn't go on to the end of the trail because of poor planning on our part. We parted ways with the group after Malissa handed the vessel off to the next guy, who was WADING to the next stop. Brave Soul.

I have been known to revel in many a creek and never give a thought to where the water is coming from or what is in it. But Decker's Creek is orange, and I have read the warnings posted about the health hazards. I reckon that was the point of the exercise, to make people think about this waterway that runs through our town.

Up next. a few pictures of Decker's Creek.

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