Client: Seabourn Cove communitye
Location: Boynton Beach, FL, United States
Completion date: 2009
Artwork budget: $160,000
Art & Culture Group, Inc.
Landscape Architecture/Planning, Inc.
The Old Dixie EcoWalk public eco art project reforested an easement, about a quarter of a mile long and fifty feet wide, into a habitat that attracts and sustains butterfly wildlife. Over 62 species of Florida native plants provide butterfly food and shelter. The project includes carved Florida cap rock resting sculptures, bases for plant identification tiles, educational interpretive panels and butterfly watering basins. The lush butterfly imprinted pedestrian pathway provides an welcoming community amenity. The informational panels actively encourage the public to learn about the benefits of this new wildlife habitat and the project’s energy saving residential project.
The canopy will reduce the Heat Island Effect and CO2 levels, while the artistic elements provide an aesthetic quality and educational opportunities about sustainable practices. Old Dixie Eco Walk is an active resource for organizations such as the North America Butterfly Association (NABA) and the Florida Native Plant Society, landscape professionals as well as for area schools and museums. It demonstrates how enjoyable and necessary sustainable design is for all species.
By reforesting this easement the public art project created an additional green space for the City’s future Blueways/Greenways project connecting to neighboring Seacrest Scrub Park, and existing native medians and landscape plantings. The Old Dixie Eco Walk adds a unique and beneficial public art project to the current City of Boynton Beach’s Art in Public Places Program and Green Building Eco Art Initiatives. It demonstrates how to promote the green features of Seabourn Cove, the nation’s first and largest sustainable gated community, to the public, making the invisible visible while adding a valuable and meaningful amenity to the development project.
Old Dixie Eco Walk’s creators are Lucy Keshavarz of Art & Culture Group, Inc. and David Bodker of David Bodker Landscape Architecture/Planning, Inc. Together they consulted with scientists and Lepidoptera professionals, Mary R. Truglio, Wildlife Biologist with Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission Division of Habitat & Species Conservation; Alana Edwards, Education & Training Coordinator with FAU's Center for Environmental Studies; and Jaret C. Daniels, PHD, Assistant Curator & Assistant Director of Education with McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity, University of Florida.
The project, managed by the City’s Art in Public Places Public Art Manager (me), was submitted to and approved by the Arts Commission Board. Seabourn Cove developer celebrated it’s opening featuring the Old Dixie Eco Walk. It continues to serve as an active resource for organizations such as the North America Butterfly Association (NABA) and the Florida Native Plant Society, landscape professionals as well as educational tours for area garden clubs, schools and museums.
For more information visit www.boynton-beach.org/departments/public_art/projects/dixie_ecowalk.php.