Client: City of East Palo Alto and Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District
Location: East Palo Alto, CA, United States
Completion date: 2019
Lead artist and designer
Linda Gass, Artist
East Palo Alto Community Services
City of East Palo Alto
Restoration expertise, community engagement
Community-engaged land art installation of native plant, Juncus, marking the former shoreline of San Francisco Bay at Cooley Landing Park in East Palo Alto. Between 1932-1960, the San Mateo County Dump filled in wetlands with garbage at this site. The location of the former shoreline was identified using the 1857 U.S. Coastal Survey Map of San Francisco Bay and Google Earth satellite images. Local community members and schoolchildren helped plant over 400 Juncus seedlings.
The goal of this project was to engage the community in a project that spoke to the history, current and future conditions of the site. Interpretive signage was installed to tell the story of the installation and encourage visitors to explore the meaning and the surrounding area.
This project was a collaboration between the artist and government, non-profit and educational agencies. Permits were secured from both the City of East Palo Alto and the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District. The artist collaborated with restoration non-profit Grassroots Ecology and the community to plant the Juncus. We worked with the San Mateo County Department of Education to involve local high school students and also worked with local community organizations to involve their members.