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Environmental Project Raises Awareness of Ocean Pollution; Turns Trash into Art

Christopher Columbus Park’s “Changing Course” art installation has been selected to be part the 10th Annual Boston Greenfest, to be held August 11-13, 2018. The installation was designed and created by Friends of Christopher Columbus Park (FOCCP) Board member and Art Curator Robyn Reed.

“Changing Course” displays almost 2,000 plastic bottle “fish” to raise awareness of the large amount of plastic trash in the world’s ocean and waterways. The installation was suspended from the Columbus Park trellis this summer.

“There’s an uninhabited island in the Pacific that in recent years has become ‘home’ to some 35 million pieces of plastic trash,” says Robyn Reed. “Henderson Island dramatically illustrates how powerfully and negatively plastic impacts our environment and marine life. The idea for this project came to me when I learned that fish are ingesting the materials and are practically becoming plastic.”

In addition to drawing attention to an important environmental issue, the project also brought together the community for its creation. The bottles were collected and painted by North End and Waterfront neighbors, as well as children from the after-school program at the Nazzaro Center, residents and staff of the Spaulding Nursing and Therapy Center, a local Brownie Troop, and visitors to Columbus Park.

“The Friends of Christopher Columbus Park is thrilled to have ‘Changing Course’ chosen for the Greenfest,” said Joanne Hayes-Rines, president of the FOCCP. “So many people were impacted by it while it hung in the trellis and now its critical environmental message can reach a much larger audience.”

The 10th Annual Boston Greenfest is a free, three-day festival at Boston City Hall Plaza with the goal of educating and empowering people to create a more sustainable, healthier world.

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