Arts in Conservation Education

Waterworks Gardens

Environmental artist Lorna Jordan emphasizes the connection between land, systems, and people. Her artworks range from green infrastructures that enhance watersheds, and reveal the cycles and mysteries of water, to site-specific sculptural pavilions, and gathering places that embody progressions of form, to media artworks that incorporate light and projections. All use changing cycles, and the drama of animated sequences to heighten our experiences of the environment. Waterworks Gardens, one of Jordan’s many works, illustrates the connection between communities and sustainable land through its eight-acre earth/water sculpture. Like Waterworks Gardens, Jordan’s projects often have functional aspects to them: they treat water, use recycled materials, generate energy, improve habitat, and incorporate drought-tolerant plantings. Moreover, they are expressive and connect communities to the systems that sustain them. Through her environmental art for public spaces, Jordan engages people in conservation and invites them to participate in the artwork itself.

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<i>Waterworks Gardens</i> is an eight-acre earth/water sculpture that treats storm-water and enhances wetlands. The artwork also includes five garden rooms that connect people intimately to the cycles and mysteries of water. This garden room includes a colonnade of basalt, a grate-covered storm-water channel, plantings, and flowing paving patterns. Photo by David McDonald

The entry to <i>Waterworks Gardens</i>, known as The Knoll, leads people to an overlook to view the first of eleven storm-water treatment ponds and the wetlands beyond. Photo by David McDonaldy

Lorna Jordan (at right in the orange shirt) works with community members on an art plan for a river improvement project. Photo courtesy of Lorna Jordan