The Standard Journal

Sculptures combine litter, animals to show 2 don’t mix

- By Larry Hobbs

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — The bright multicolor­s of the manatee sculpture at Overlook Park on the marsh in Brunswick will catch a visitor’s eye even from the parking lot.

So will the tall blue heron sculpture that now sits on a high perch at the North Glynn Recreation Complex.

But a closer look will reveal that those attractive hues are emitted from such discarded litter as plastic cups and soda bottles and aluminum beer cans and energy drinks. The two might combine to make pretty art, but litter definitely does not mix well with these animals in their natural environmen­ts, said Lea King-Badyna, executive director of Keep Golden Isles Beautiful.

That is the message of the organizati­on’s new litter campaign, which is being unveiled this week at parks throughout the Golden Isles. Each day the group is unveiling a new sculpture at a public park, including a pelican statue at Mary Ross Park on the waterfront in Brunswick Feb. 1.

The animals are sculpted of a steel mesh shell and are hollow inside. At each unveiling, volunteers will join Keep Golden Isles to conduct a clean- up sweep of the park. The sculptures’ insides will be stuffed with all the plastic and aluminum litter that is collected by the volunteers. On the base of each statue is a plaque with a carefully worded narrative regarding the animal and its natural habitat, as well as the damage our litter does to both.

“I think these will be very educationa­l, because you will see the juxtaposit­ion of the critter and the litter,” King-Badyna said. “It gets your attention. And then there is this educationa­l component that will explain to you the negative affect the litter has on the critter and on his environmen­t. That way people can understand that we don’t want these coastal critters swimming or living in this litter.”

Today’s unveiling of the Pelican sculpture at Mary Ross Park has a special educationa­l bonus for the volunteers who turn out to help clean up. All participan­ts will get to take a free tour of the M/V Ocearch, a shark research vessel docked at Mary Ross Park for the winter. Anyone who wants to join the Keep Golden Isles Beautiful group for a tour of the boat can turn out at 3:30 p.m. today for the cleanup, King- Badyna said.

“Anybody can come out and help,” King-Badyna said. “They just need to show up. We’re happy to have volunteers.”

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