Chinook Bend Natural Enhancement Project
Carnation, WA          Gallery          Map          Audio

In the quiet, small town of Carnation in rural western Washington, is a 59 acre King County natural resource park. This area is actively returning, through hard work and determination, to its natural state. Framed by the Cascade foothills and the Snoqualmie River, its beauty is unassuming and simple, yet majestic and profound. The Snoqualmie River, whose elegant and dramatic ox bows define one edge of the land, create an ever changing waterscape of eddies, swirls, shallow and deep water where salmon spawn. Snails and slugs, trout and salmon, fox and deer, osprey and eagles share the landscape. As a former pastureland for Carnation Dairy, it is now regaining its bio-dynamic wildness by the removal of river levees, canary grass, and by creating an ideal environment for wetlands and plantings of native vegetation.

The opportunity to enhance the park was driven by the construction of a new wastewater treatment facility. The effluent from the treatment plant flows into the newly created wetlands. Betsy was selected by 4Culture to create artwork in celebration of the beauty and power of the water flowing throughout the site. The artwork was partially funded through the King County Percent for Art Program. Lonnie Feather worked as an assistant and produced the cast glass elements for Betsy Damon.

"Water Revealed" is comprised of three pieces -- a Living Water Compass, a Pole to Measure Floods and Seating Stones. All articulate aspects of the site.

The 'Living Water Compass,' a low relief image of a magnified water drop carved in granite, is sited in the moist ground next to a pond. At the edge of the carving is a quote by Betsy: "The dream of a river is to run free and be fully alive." And embedded in each cardinal point of the sculpture are deep, blue-green, glass discs of the directions "N", "S", "E", "W".

The Pole to Measure Floods was designed with the intent of magnifying the site's intention to return it to its natural cycle of rising and falling waters. Six granite beads and six cast glass beads - ranging in brilliant sunrise colors of deep red to gold/yellow - are strung along a 24' pole crowned with a raptor's roost. This pole can be seen from a distance and serves as a marker for visitors to enhance their understanding of the site's natural water cycles.

Near the parking lot are the Seating Stones. Visitors can enjoy a majestic view of the pond and the Cascade Range in the distance. Created from local glacial boulders, the stones are etched with natural imagery and the words "REVERE", "REVEAL", and "RESTORE".

"In collaboration with many who held a vision of not only restoration but revitalization of this area, I sought to honor the increasing bio-dynamism when the river runs free and the true complexity of a bio system is restored. These three pieces express what is happening in the Chinook Bend Natural area where nature is revealed, restored and revered – such is the power, magic and mystery of living waters."