Garbage that was collected by volunteers from across the Des Moines River watershed was unveiled today (Monday at noon) as a 13-foot tall gleaming sculpture at the Iowa Department of Natural Resources headquarters in Des Moines. The D-N-R’s Brian Soenen says the metal, plastic and rubber sculpture is called “Fair Catch.” It’s a 13-foot tall canoe paddle that’s ribbons of metal all the way up to make the blade. On top of the paddle is a giant stone fly. The fly’s body is made from a piece of car bumper. Cross-sections of semi-truck tires make up the fly’s legs and its tail is made from runners from a children’s sled. Its eyes are burners from a cast-iron oven. Soenen says the stone fly is a creature people should -like- to see. He says it’s an insect that lives in the bottom of a stream and they’re indicators of good water quality as they can only live in certain conditions. Soenen says David Williamson of Ogden is the artist who created the large sculpture, which will now be a permanent display at the Wallace Building, honoring volunteers statewide who work hard to keep our waterways clean.He says the stone fly atop the sculpture is a good symbol for the volunteers, for their determination, interest in water quality and perseverance. Soenen notes Earth Day is Friday. “Fair Catch” specifically honors volunteer work done by D-N-R volunteers in the annual river cleanup event called Project AWARE — A Watershed Awareness River Expedition. The weeklong outdoor adventure invites volunteers to make a public stand for water quality by canoeing, cleaning and learning about Iowa’s waterways. For more information, surf to “www.iowaprojectaware.com”.
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