On Tues., June 14, Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. and the South Mountain Conservancy unveiled new outdoor sculptures in the Wildflower Sculpture Park in Essex County South Mountain Reservation. Inaugurated in 2012, the Wildflower Sculpture Park is a collaborative initiative by the Essex County Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs and the South Mountain Conservancy to introduce art into the landscape of the Reservation.
“Essex County South Mountain Reservation is a beautiful destination with spectacular skyline views, stunning vistas and gorgeous natural backdrops,” DiVincenzo said. “The inspirational and thought-provoking nature of the artwork, combined with the environment and natural setting, will offer breathtaking and dramatic scenes for park visitors to enjoy. We are pleased to be partnering with the South Mountain Conservancy to raise awareness about our reservation and to expand the art park. The art installations on display here will provide visitors with a new reason to enjoy our open space resources and help unite the disciplines of art and nature.” he added.
An open call for artists to submit ideas was conducted and four artists were selected.
The idea behind the Wildflower Sculpture Park was to build on the concept of the Wildflower Project, which is a fenced-in area about 14 acres in size. Organized by the South Mountain Conservancy, native plants installed in the enclosed area are protected from deer browsing for food and act as a seed bank for the rest of the reservation. This was done in 2009 in conjunction with Essex County’s forest regeneration program for South Mountain Reservation in which 43 enclosures were constructed throughout the reservation to aggressively re-grow native vegetation.