III. Land + Water
Elkhorn City KY | 2000-2006
III. WHAT WE LEFT
ELKHORN CITY RIVERWALK: THE BLUE LINE TRAIL
A CIRCULAR WALKING TRAIL knits the natural and built environments, connecting the riverfront to Main Street and the town.
Striking graphics, signs & signature walls were painted vivid blue with inexpensive house paint, referring to river, sky, and railroad history.
12’ high x 25’ long RIVER HERITAGE QUILT TILE MURAL commands major crossroads visibility for the Trail, anchoring place, pride, and identity.
THE BLUE LINE TRAIL—artist designed signage. Walkers are visually drawn around the trail by recurring graphics: 3” wide x 12’ to 20’ long blue lines, “The Blue Line Trail” text, and one iconic painted tile–a blue river-like line. Numbered signs orientate location.
RIVERFRONT NATIVE HABITAT PARK
HABITAT GARDEN (designed by SLS)–30+ species of native plants installed (some grown) by students & residents, support native butterfly & bird life; and establish a permeable riparian zone to filter storm runoff from encroaching asphalt roadways.
Collected local river memories sandblasted on unique SCULPTURE BENCHES of local quarry stone and concrete, designed by Yutaka Kobayashi.
Existing BIRDHOUSES, VIEW DECKS & PICNIC TABLE refurbished.
INTERPRETIVE MURALS: Otis student mural identifies native flowers. View deck interpretive signs identify native riverfront birds, fish & butterflies.
UNDERBRIDGE MURAL: On unsightly trailside bridge abutment, Otis students painted local saying: “The Rivers Make the Mountains. The Mountains Make the People.”
TRAIL MURALS: Dot BLT, celebrate local history & ecology, ceramic tiles painted by students and residents in a series of prominent murals . On Main Street, working from EC Historical Society archives, Otis students paint “photo album” mural of by-gone buildings.
TOURIST BROCHURE—“WHERE NATURE MEETS CULTURE”: With pro-bono professional graphics designer, artists created a sophisticated new tourist brochure that features a colorful trail map, with artist and archival photos of Trail artworks, citizens, and opportunities for enjoying local cultural events and green eco-adventures.