New Service Authority Art Installation Turns Trash into Treasure

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Provided by Prince William County Service Authority

Employees, contractors and customers visiting Prince William County Service Authority’s Spittle Administrative Building Lobby this summer will likely notice a new installation: a five-foot tall sculpture made from reclaimed materials and featuring flora and fauna found in Northern Virginia’s wetland habitats.

The sculpture is on loan to the Service Authority from the Prince William Soil & Water Conservation District (Soil & Water District) and Freedom High School’s Center for Environmental & Natural Sciences (CENS), who partnered on the initiative to promote the importance of reducing trash in the environment. It will be on display in the Spittle Building until the beginning of the 2023-24 school year in August, after which it will return to Freedom High School. Items like lighters, plastic water bottles, flip flops, electronics and discarded dinnerware converge in the sculpture to create aquatic grasses, cattails, flowers and insects, all of which are threatened by wetland pollution.

The Service Authority’s relationship with the Soil & Water District, CENS, Prince William Public Schools and other community and environmental organizations align with its new Environmental Leadership & Community Engagement Area of Excellence, which emphasizes maintaining partnerships that benefit Prince William County, the Washington, D.C. metro region and the environment.

“Freedom High School’s partnership with the Soil & Water District seeks ways to engage more students in Prince William County in water science, conservation and the protection of natural resources,” said Dr. Jessica Doiron, Director of CENS. “The sculpture will be displayed at Freedom High School once it returns from the Service Authority, and it will then be taken to other schools and to community events as an interactive educational piece and learning tool.”

pwcsa sculpture

(Courtesy Prince William County Service Authority)

The piece was created by Angela Haseltine Pozzi of ReUPit, an Oregon-based organization that uses recycled and repurposed materials to create sculptures, wearable art and reusable products to promote the importance of reducing consumption and waste. Funded by a grant from the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, it is made entirely from materials that were collected during cleanups of Prince William County waterways. Before coming to the Service Authority, it was displayed at a health expo in Woodbridge to educate attendees about water quality and pollution awareness.

“The sculpture calls attention to growing concerns about plastic pollution and microplastics in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed,” said Veronica Tangiri, Soil & Water District Water Quality Programs Coordinator/Manager. “The Chesapeake Bay Watershed greatly depends on surface waters and is unique in its biodiversity. I believe this educational piece of art will help stir much-needed conversations about protecting clean water for future generations, a move that needs to be community-driven like the partnership between Soil & Water District and CENS.”

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