Storm Spots – Environmental Art

Tree Cookies


This art installation is part of an educational program by CUSP (Climate & Urban Systems Partnership). I collaborated with The Schuylkill Center to create a method for drawing attention to stormwater run-off damage. Tree cookies (slices of trees) were dyed yellow and pink with natural pigments and then treated with an olive oil and beeswax mixture. Students gathered around a ravine and were asked to place yellow spots to represent one year in the future of this ground damaged by stormwater run-off, while pink spots were used for three year predictions. This installation is periodically photographed to show movement, and certainly some of the spots will probably end up downstream.


Future Possibilities

Although these natural pigments tend to fade over time, natural markers are a good idea to monitor change in an environment, especially when materials are limited for more exact monitoring. Although color was used here to be more artistic, the same effect could have been done with two different types of wood, or by carving different shapes or even routing out a symbol. As climate change becomes more apparent, I believe people will be using all types of materials to mark changes in water level and ground movement for their areas.