Finding Tibbetts Brook Launch

For the past two years, SLO Architecture and CALL have been developing plans for a mobile model wetland, Finding Tibbetts 2.0,  that would take the public on an interactive journey in finding Tibbetts Brook. Starting July of this year, we were finally ready to make those plans a reality. For approximately 5 weeks, the SLO Architecture team was set up in an old, abandoned tennis court in Van Cortlandt Park. Amanda Schachter from SLO Architecture, who designed the wetland with co-founder Alexander Levi and lead its construction, said that the space is the best she has ever worked in because of its openness and close proximity to the community. As the project progressed, the more curious and invested the community became. Many times passerbys would stop in their tracks and look on with curiosity. Those bold enough would try to catch their attention and ask what they were doing. These were moments of education that really hammered home what this project is all about: community engagement and excitement around art as a vehicle for talking about environmental issues.


We had our launch on Monday, July 30th in the old Van Cortlandt tennis courts where the mobile wetland stood center-stage. It was a vibrant electric-blue, pink and red; truly impossible to miss. There were plastic tubes that ran up and down the structure in wave-like formations and a handful of tall-stemmed plants peeking out from carefully thought-out openings, allowing you to see the impressive water tank at its base which is meant to mimic the Tibbett’s estuary ecosystem.  


The turn out was impressive; no doubt a product of the community involvement and curiosity early on. Admission was free and open to the public and light drinks and snacks were available. The talented Bob Braine was on site for the second installment of Estuary Tattoos, painting maps of the historical Tibbetts Brook on the bodies of attendees. A walk-and-talk tour around the sculpture was led by the founders of Slo Architecture, Amanda Schachter and Alexander Levi, allowing the audience to understand the artistic vision and engineering that propelled this project forward.

If you would like to learn more about our Daylighting Tibbetts Brook projects, go to the “Ecological Consciousness: Artist as Instigator” exhibition at Wave Hill public garden and community center. If you missed our opening this summer, you can see the completed project in the Fall when it will be touring around the Bronx.