Bringing together the voices of artists, scientists and horticulturalists, “Waterosity” will celebrate this most precious, life-giving resource in thought-provoking and playful installations and exhibits for all ages.
Here’s a quick look at what’s “on tap”:
‘Harvest Your Rain’
This new permanent display will demonstrate ways to re-use rainwater or help it filter into the earth, lessening harmful runoff into street drains and eventually our rivers, streams and lakes. The highlight is a permanent green roof constructed on an Arboretum picnic shelter and planted with sedum and prairie grasses.
Harvest Your Rain also will feature exhibits on rain barrels and rain gardens. The former, when linked to a gutter system, can provide a reservoir of water to use for watering plants, filling birdbaths and other outdoor uses.
‘The Cutting Edge’ on Lawns
This display, located on the island directly in front of the Oswald Visitor Center, will feature demonstration plots of new, water-efficient lawn grasses of the future, including University of Minnesota research grasses. A Gardener’s Idea Shed will contain interactive displays about drip irrigation, rain sensors and other ways to “stretch your water” for a beautiful green yard using less blue.
Intriguing Art in the Garden
Ten winning art installations will be erected outdoors in Arboretum gardens and natural areas, including human-size frog puppets, dancing water fountains, a jumbo disposable water bottle (with a message) and much more. They are meant to entertain, enlighten and engage visitors with their powerful messages on the value of water. It’s a great excuse for a walk in the gardens!
Go Green with a Splash Free Walking Tours
Learn how to “go green with a splash” in a free, one-hour walking tour of the Waterosity exhibition, including stops at the Harvest Your Rain and Cutting Edge on Lawns displays, and portions of Intriguing Art in the Garden. See what’s bubbling up on green roofs, rain gardens and barrels, porous paving, water-lean lawns and more. Led by trained Arboretum volunteer guides every Saturday at 10:30 am.
The Green & Blue Express and Heart of the Beast Puppet Theatre
A new kid-friendly, narrated tram tour will be offered on Thursday evenings now through August 27. Led by Arboretum staff, the Green & Blue Express will blend Waterosity messages and a few activity-based stops into the lively narration. The Express will depart at 5:30 and 6:45 p.m. and tickets will be $2.50 each. Throughout the summer, the renowned Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre will perform on the following dates: July 11 and 12 (at 11 am and 1 pm) and August 8 (12:30 pm). Free with gate admission ($9 adults; free for members and ages 15 and younger).
Free Family Weekend Activities
Families are invited to participate in free family activities at the Water Works Plant Lab every Saturday and Sunday, from Noon to 4 pm at the Marion Andrus Learning Center.
‘Go Green with a Splash Party’ Weekend
This special weekend – July 11 and 12 – features an information fair and water-wise demonstrations, art activities, live music and a Heart of the Beast Puppet Theatre performance.
10 winning designs and designers – culled from nearly 100 entries – will comprise the Intriguing Art in the Gardens component of the 2009 summer exhibition, Waterosity: Go Green with a Splash.