Environmental Reclamation Artist Angelo Ciotti
Urban Space
Dreher Park Project
Dreher Park, Large Image

West Palm Beach, Florida 2003-2004

The City of West Palm Beach redesigned Dreher Park, the premier park within the City's park system. The Park is a multi-use public park, surrounded on three sides by diverse neighborhoods. A major component of the Park's redesign was to revamp the Park's water flow and flood control systems. Eight acres of inter-connecting lakes and retention ponds have been built to catch, hold, and drain storm water within this 113-acre urban regional park.

Ecological artists, Jackie Brookner and Angelo Ciotti, collaborated on art concepts throughout the park and worked on its new design as part of the Dreher Park Design Team. Brookner and Ciotti created a 14-foot biosculpture that aerates and filters water in one of the park's new retention ponds. Called "Elder's Cove," the sculpture is a place for gathering and contemplation, and is a homage to the Seminole history of this area. Its form reflects the elaborate trunks of the Banyan trees that are abundant throughout the park. The artists' other concepts include islands featuring Cypress Swamp ecosystems, which recall the history of the Park's land as part of the Everglades, and earthen mounds that reclaim and sculpt the soil from the lake excavations./p>

The mounds surround play areas and playgrounds. In the North end is the Choko Lochi Seminole Village playground,\ that was designed in consultation with Seminole elders. It features vegetation that Seminoles used as part of their daily lives--for baskets, textiles, food, etc. The 'Playground of Today and Tomorrow' in the South end looks to the future, and features other native flora of Florida.