In a narrow patch of land beside Missouri Flat Creek near downtown Pullman and the Washington State University campus, a new set of creatively designed signs celebrates a decade of ecological restoration efforts and a unique town–gown partnership combining environmental science and the arts.
“Intriguing, educational, and beautiful—they are at the interface of art and science,” said Kayla Wakulich, a doctoral candidate in WSU’s School of the Environment (SoE) and staff assistant for the WSU Center for Civic Engagement. “To see them installed reaffirms that it was worth the wait—and the work.”
Over the years, more than 5,000 SoE 110 students have contributed upwards of 15,000 individual hours by planting native grasses and other beneficial vegetation, removing invasive plant species, monitoring water quality and wildlife, and checking for stream bank migration. The ongoing project has grown to include volunteers from local civic groups, such as the Phoenix Conservancy, Pioneer Explorers and Pullman Civic Trust, as well as four summer interns, three landscape architecture courses, two creative writing courses, and a visual arts course.