Lillian Ball: Waterwash ABC

New York

Lillian Ball works in New York as an environmental artist and activist. She has a multidisciplinary background in anthropology, ethnographic film, and sculpture, which influences her work. Furthermore she has received numerous awards and has traveled widely due to her international exhibitions.
Her latest project Waterwash ABC includes the construction of a wetland park, improvement of habitat as well as increase of public access to Bronx River. Its aim is to filter storm runoff and create consciousness among the community for watershed issues by means of an aesthetic nature experience.  The need for restoration and revitalization of areas challenged by stormwater issues is widespread in waterfront areas worldwide.
The vision of Lilian Ball was a vegetated swale with native plants, permeable pavement, and educational signage explaining the need for non-point source stormwater management in private as well as public places.  The transformation of a neglected space into a public outreach park is supposed to inspire community commitment to stormwater issues.
The runoff from the parking lot and the roof of the ABC Carpet and Home retail facility at 1055 Bronx River Ave was emptied unfiltered into the Bronx River. Ball’s project aims to alter this fact. Rocking the Boat is the fiscal agent for this Bronx River Watershed Initiative in order to construct a wetland habitat that stabilizes the shoreline to detain and filter the outfalls before they enter the river.
Rocking the Boat students will plant a variety of salt-tolerant native species and help the  ABC personnel in planting the community vegetable garden and maintain the site. Above that a hydrologic monitoring will be carried out by Rocking the Boat environmental apprentices.

In that way the project creates a permanent, publicly visible remediation, habitat restoration, and educational site. Above that it acts as a green infrastructure model.
For more information see http://lillianball.com/waterwash/index.html and  www.rockingtheboat.org