​​​​​​​​Tres Rios

Butterfly Garden​​

 

 

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ARTIST:   coLAB - Matt and Maria Salenger, with Ten Eyck Landscape Architects
DATE:   2006
LOCATION:  Tres Rios Constructed Wetlands Demonstration Project at 91st Avenue and the Salt River
(Please note, this installation is no longer visible to the public. This page serves to archive the original installation.)
TYPE:   Art Installation
MATERIALS:   Mixed Media
BUDGET:   $180,000
DISTRICT:   7
​ZIP CODE: 85353


​coLAB and Ten Eyck designed a butterfly garden at Tres Rios, the constructed wetlands that utilize and purify wastewater from the 91st Avenue Wastewater Treatment Facility.  This innovative public space provides habitat for native and migrating butterflies and birds while educating human visitors about Arizona wetlands and the greater environment.  Inspired by the awareness that only 4% of Arizona's natural wetlands still remain, the artists used the garden to educate visitors about the natural balance of water in the desert and the human impact on that balance. Situated just off one of the main trails at the park, the garden is formed by two concentric circles of living ocotillo fencing girded by steel panels.  The panels are cut with elegant graphics that illustrate the various cycles of water use in nature, agriculture and industry, as well as the damage caused by imbalanced use and the potential for preservation.  Inside the path is an enclosed garden featuring a landscape of native and desert adapted plants selected to attract a range of butterflies and birds throughout the year.  The project includes interpretive signage throughout Tres Rios and a website for ongoing education.