Children’s water conservation art exhibit opens at Red Hills Desert Garden

As children sculpt mountains and valleys out of sand, a computer and 3D scanner animates rain and flowing rivers onto the sand in real time. The experience is part of a water conservation and water-wise landscaping project at Red Hills Desert Garden, a cooperative effort involving Parashant National Monument rangers and intern Julianne Renner, Washington County Water Conservancy District, Washington County fourth-graders and Dixie State University. St. George, Utah, February-March, 2018 | Photo courtesy of the National Park Service, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A new art exhibit is on display throughout the month of April at Red Hills Desert Garden, the product of a two-month project between Parashant National Monument naturalist rangers and Washington County school children.

Lower right: Dennis Martinez, professor of creative arts at Dixie State University, observes three of his installation art students hanging raindrops as part of a water conservation and water-wise landscaping display at Red Hills Desert Garden. The project was part of a cooperative effort involving Parashant National Monument rangers and intern Julianne Renner, Washington County Water Conservancy District, Washington County school children and Dixie State University. St. George, Utah, February-March, 2018 | Photo courtesy of the National Park Service, St. George News

The rangers reached out to Washington County schools to present a hands-on fourth-grade program where students learned how the water cycle formed this area’s scenic landscape and how to conserve water in the desert.

In the last two months they presented the activity to over 70 fourth-grade classrooms, which is over 1,800 students.

With a primary focus of promoting water conservation and water-wise landscaping principles, the Washington County Water Conservancy District and Red Hills Desert Garden agreed to provide a new structure that would hang the raindrops the students made during class over the slot canyon in the Red Hills Desert Garden.

“We are excited to be hosting this art installation at Red Hills Desert Garden,” its manager Ryan White said. “The exhibit celebrates water in a fun and thoughtful way and fits perfectly with the conservation messaging of the garden.”

Dixie State University’s installation art class assisted with the exhibit as well as adding its own artwork in the fish viewing area. The effect of the raindrops is intended to feel like a monsoon storm. Each drop has thoughts from the students about water conservation.

“This is a great opportunity for art students to participate in the [art] construction process with both artistic and a creative design presentation,” Dennis Martinez, professor of creative arts at the university, said.

The creator behind the project, Julianne Renner, a former Great Basin Institute intern at the monument, said:

“One of the most important aspects of the project was community involvement. I wanted to make sure this was both an art installation promoting water conservation and something people could connect with personally. Having hundreds of 4th grade students from Washington County display their art in the installation was such a fun and inspiring way to get the community involved in the project – it couldn’t have turned out better.”

The raindrops will be on display at the Red Hills Desert Garden throughout April to celebrate Water Conservation Month and for the public to enjoy. The Desert Garden is located on Red Hills Parkway on the east side of the Dixie Rock, or Sugarloaf.

Call 435-688-3377 for more information about the exhibit.

Resources follow below.

Raindrops made as part of a water conservation and water-wise landscaping project. The raindrops are on display at Red Hills Desert Garden throughout April. The project was part of a cooperative effort involving Parashant National Monument rangers and intern Julianne Renner, Washington County Water Conservancy District, Washington County school children and Dixie State University. St. George, Utah, February-March, 2018 | Photo courtesy of the National Park Service, St. George News

Resources

  • Red Hills Desert Garden | Address: 375 E. Red Hills Parkway, St. George | Telephone: 435-673-3617 | Website | Hours: Daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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