a blog about Angela Oster's art, inspiration, and post-experience as a recipient of a Creative Workforce Fellowship from Community Partnership for Arts & Culture

Monday, June 22, 2009

One idea for a project

As a lifelong Clevelander, I understand the ridicule our city has suffered for the burning river incident. What if we could make that embarrassment into an asset? Make the Cuyahoga River a tourist attraction. The fact is that the Cuyahoga River fire helped to create The Clean Water Act - an indispensible law that protects our nation's water.

I have been thinking about creating The Burning River Eco-Amusement Park and Museum. The Park would allow people to revel in the natural environment while learning about the city's industrial past, why the river caught fire on multiple occasions, and highlight the wildlife and natural history of the river's ecosystem.

Some of the "rides" would include swimming, running through grass, and rolling down hills. I would create rides that aerate the water or alter the chemical imbalances through physical exertion. This way the rides would benefit the participant as well as the helping to recover environmental damage. One example would be riding pedal-powered water bikes that oxygenate the water. Another example is donning a suit with limestone tablets attached so that the water's ph levels are improved.

Other attractions might include a water-baby contest, a waterski show or bathing beauties swimming in Busby Burkeley style productions, or a Lake Erie Monster haunted water slide.

The museum portion of the park would display artifacts/products that used to be manufactured on the river. I would show video interviews from former workers and firefighters who put out the fire. I would like to have some sort of interactive display where kids can help put out the fire. There would be river otters to watch play.

here is a great article from today's Plain Dealer:

Cuyahoga River fire 40 years ago ignited an ongoing cleanup campaign

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