GODFREY - The Three Rivers Project of the Sierra Club, in conjunction with Community Cultivators and the Village of Godfrey Parks and Recreation Department, are pleased to announce the winning artist of an interactive sculpture at the Jaime Hines Prairie at LaVista. Artist Merrilyn Shoemaker had the winning proposal and will now complete the design, construction, and installation of at outdoor sculpture at LaVista Park in Godfrey, with help from fabricator, Thomas Cundiff.

“This sculpture will be placed near the new prairie at LaVista park to raise awareness of the vital importance of the role of prairies in maintaining the health of our eco-systems,” said Christine Favilla, co-founder of the Jamie Hines Prairie at LaVista Park. “Prairies are intimately dependent on pollinators which are now on the decline. This project is site-specific, and it will pair well with the existing sculpture by the Butterfly Project, located near the pollinator garden.”

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"The piece was inspired by the beauty and order of a honeycomb cell and is indirectly intended to draw attention to honeybees which are struggling due to the use of pesticides, poor nutrition and parasites and pathogens. Honeybees as pollinators are critical to the health of our planet as well as to our health,” said Merrilyn Shoemaker.

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"Visually the visitors will see a large open hexagon (honeycomb cell) nesting in the top of two wider partial hexagons. To add interest through shade and shadow, the various parts are to be offset. The sculpture is to be made of locally harvested and milled wood by a local timber building specialist, Thomas Cundiff, owner of The Edgeworks.”

“This winning design will be a welcome addition to LaVista Park, one of Godfrey’s numerous beautiful parks. LaVista is unique and has a special beauty about it. This sculpture will be a pleasant enhancement,” said Mayor Michael McCormick.

This sculpture is a project within the Sierra Club Illinois Monarch Campaign aimed at planting an additional 150 Million milkweed stems. The education and outreach portions of the Monarch Campaign also include Small Pollinator Pocket Grants for community gardens, free milkweed seeds, access to free webinars on how to plant native pollinator plants, and the designing and purchasing of informational park signage for the 3 main Sierra Club pollinator gardens and prairies in the Riverbend.

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