Natural art an idea with roots [UPDATED]Published 5:54am Monday, March 25, 2013 Updated 8:00am Monday, March 25, 2013
Responding to last week’s Journal report that the city is going to accept proposals for artwork in the center of the new Tower Road roundabout, one commenter on fergusfallsjournal.com suggested, possibly tongue-in-cheek, that native prairie plantings would perfectly fill the bill. Whether the comment was offered seriously or not, it’s an idea that has real merit. We hope some artist will turn the idea into a winner.
Considered one of the gateways to the city, it makes sense for the roundabout to have a Fergus Falls theme. We think city planners are right on target in identifying some way to make it emblematic of the community.
Prairie plantings would meet that requirement, since our city is the home of the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center and in the heart of the prairie pothole region.
But the benefits to native plantings go further. They would be, for one thing, safe; an errant vehicle that runs into prairie plantings is going to suffer a lot less damage than one which hits a metal or concrete statue.
Prairie plantings would be cost-effective. They would not be a distraction for drivers. And they would certainly be thematically aligned with the other major outdoor artwork around town: A giant otter, a giant goose and — before errant vehicles and vandalism destroyed them — downtown’s otter bollards.
All that’s needed is a person — or perhaps several people — who can put together a vision of prairie plantings that would effectively welcome people to town. It may have started as a joke, but this is an idea that ought to sink roots into the new roundabout.