Santa Cruz, California
Woodrow & WestCliff on the Monterey Bay
Barbara Benish works in various media, visual, sound, written words, to connect our contemporary experience to the non-human worlds. This sound work brings a unique eco-system to light: where fresh and salt waters meet in an urban setting on the California coast.
The riparian corridor at Woodrow and WestCliff in Santa Cruz, California struggles with urban run-off and human pollution as it winds it way to the sea. These two bodies of water meet in what had become a near dead zone of non-native grasses, algae blooms, and invasive ice-plant. Since 2015, myself and other volunteers have worked to restore this eco-system, which now has one of the most fertile bird populations in the region. Our goal is to restore the entire park with native plants, that will honor the indigenous past of this land, and continue to steward this creek as a place to cleanse the waters of the city, both physically and otherwise, before the enter into the protected richness of the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary. This part of the Pacific Ocean is one of the most productive marine eco-systems in the world, from minute plankton to one of the largest mammals on earth, the blue whale. www.art-dialogue.org , barbarabenish.org