When it rains, the map creates a watershed in miniature.

Ridge & Valley

H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens, The Arboretum at Penn State University Park, Pennsylvania, 2009


In collaboration with MTR Landscape Architects and stone mason Phil Hawk and Co.

Materials

Pennsylvania bluestone and rainwater


Dimensions

42' wide x 22' long

We often walk on the land without any idea of the underpinnings of our world. This is a stone water map that gives students, faculty, and staff a sense of how the geology of this area influences watershed patterns. Specifically, people can see how their landscape works: where the mountain ridges are, where the rainwater flows, and the streams they live near. This artwork is a 924 sq. ft. map shaped like the Spring Creek watershed. The surface of the map is made with Pennsylvania blue stone punctuated by three boulder 'ridges,' which rise from the terrace to create seating. Different geologic formations are blasted into stone, as well as names of waterways, ridges, and towns. All of the local streams and waterways are depicted with runnels carved 1/4 inch deep into the stone.

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