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Ecological consciousness credit John Maggiotto 27

WATERWASH Bronx River

Artist
Lillian Ball

Partners/Collaborators
Rocking the Boat, Dr. Franco Montalto, Drexel University Environmental Engineering, Bronx River Alliance, NYS Attorney General’s Office, Bronx River Watershed Initiative, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

Location
Behind Prologis (new owner), 1055 Bronx River Ave and the Brueckner Bridge. This public project was innovative since it was constructed on private land formerly owned by ABC Carpet warehouse.

One of sixteen projects in the 2018 exhibition Ecological Consciousness: Artist as Instigator.

Ecological consciousness credit John Maggiotto 11

Photo: John Maggiotto

WATERWASH is a wetland park that filters storm runoff, improves habitats, and increases public access to the Bronx River. The project is part of a series of landscape interventions that Lillian Ball has created to address storm water problems through native plant and wildlife habitat creations and community outreach. Unfiltered storm water discharge from the adjacent 30,000 square-foot parking lot and 120,000 square-foot roof now filters through WATERWASH to the Bronx River. Ball put together the team, designed the wetlands/grasslands with the team, and project managed the construction. Educators and job apprentices from Rocking the Boat helped to build and continue to steward. Community Drexel Engineering has done monitoring reports that measure the effectiveness of the project. It proves that WATERWASH is slowing down the velocity and flow of storm water entering the river. It has improved the water quality of the immediate area 15-20%. Ball created Seasons in a Wetland, an audiovisual piece that charts its development of the project.

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Lillian Ball’s “WATERWASH Bronx River” wetland view in May, with recycled glass vortex sculpture for overflow leaving wetland and entering river. Photo: Lillian Ball.