in the news (131)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A CLUSTER OF SIGNS BECOMES A KIOSK
5 photo(s)

november 2014 | by susan jurasz

Too many signs can be nearly as confusing as no signs. In effort to clean up the clutter, Yamhill County decided to combine the blue TODs (tourist oriented directionals) with a map and display them in a kiosk at particularly busy intersections.

Nearly all of the TODs at these sites lead to vineyards. Sea Reach was asked to design the prototype kiosks and fabricate the first two in Yamhill County. The signs can be equipped with a QR code that goes directly to the vineyard's web site.

A JOB WELL DONE
73 photo(s)

november 2014 | by susan jurasz | show project

Finishing a big project is bitter sweet. After eight years, we are crossing the finish line. I am surprised at how emotional I feel. Since we started, there are only a few of us that can say we were here from start. Most people have come and gone. And here we are, finessing the last bolt, sweeping the concrete dust from the holes we drill, putting the finishing touches on exhibits that are as much of works of art as they are educational exhibits. Our faces are rosy from the wind and sun exposure in the Spring Mountains above Las Vegas. Our hearts, full of the joy we feel in a job well done, and our minds already searching for the next challenging task ahead of us.

This has been an amazing opportunity and we have loved it.

BOOZIN' ON THE BYWAY
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november 2014 | by susan jurasz

For three days, we travel the loop from Ottawa to Havanah, Illinois along the route designated as a national scenic byway. The weather is incredible, late October, Indian summer. The trees are still bright with color and the corn is waiting for harvest. The sun casts a rich warm hue from its low angle in the sky.

There are so many stories along this byway, beginning with the challenges of connecting Chicago (lake Michigan) to the ocean via the Illinois River to the burial mounds of ancient people. But the sight that intrigued me the most was a series of massive brick buildings that were once the world's largest distillery. Peoria once produced more whisky than any city in world. So great was the revenue from the whiskey tax that Peoria's share of taxes paid to the federal government was larger than that of any other district in the entire United States. River access, good water, an abundance of corn and barley, and good means of transportation all contributed to the unprecedented success of Peoria's alcohol industry. Having once employed over 1000 people, the distillery's production peaked in 1969 with over 8.5 million cases of whiskey. But increasingly strict environmental regulations made the coal-powered plant obsolete, and they closed the doors in the 1980s after 50 years of production. Today the site processes ethanol. This will be one of the stories we highlight in an interpretive plan for the byway.

STUFF OF FAIRY TALES
8 photo(s)
1 document with 1 pages

november 2014 | by susan jurasz

I am standing in "Downtown Abby," listening to a National Park Service Interpretive Specialist weave into a story all the aspects of a lovely drawing room - a setting from the early 1900s: a young woman, Eliza, who is a passionate horticulturalist and has a family with the means to allow her to collect in person... or invite guests who will bring as gifts unique tree species from around the world. The trees now over 100 years old stand sentinel to the majestic mansion.

The grand estate and grounds of the Hampton National Historical Site in Maryland was once the home of a prestigious American family called the Ridgleys. Generations lived and prospered on this estate, and as the young nation changed, so did their lives.

Sea Reach has been tasked with the design, fabrication, and installation of exhibits into the new visitor welcome center at the estate.

FINDING A DRY DAY...
8 photo(s)

october 2014 | by ira trussell | show project

Three huge reservoirs along the Lewis River, Washington, generate power that supplies homes and businesses all over the Pacific Northwest. To keep the huge turbines going, you need lots of water! Speelyai Park can be a particularly wet place, especially in October. Lush stands of evergreens and ferns are a testament to the 50+ inches of precipitation that fall on the area each year. Installing two large 'winged' kiosks at this time of year could pose a soggy challenge.

Thankfully, our installation team also keeps a close eye on the weather. They reckoned that a break between fall storms would eventually appear - giving just enough time to travel the 3 hours to the site and install the kiosks.

This was the fourth installation of this type of kiosk by our crew at a Pacificorp facility. During the first installation phase several years ago, the custom kiosk design had required some creative workarounds in the field. Now, however, being seasoned veterans of installing that particular design, the install was finished in under three hours.

TIME OF TRAVEL
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october 2014 | by susan jurasz

We met with City of Springfield and Springfield Utility District to develop exhibits for a demonstration rain garden. The site was designed with the help of an architecture class, and it bears the aesthetic qualities of thoughtful design.

Rain gardens are becoming a more and more common topic for us to interpret but this one is relevant in a way that Springfeild residents can appreciate. The public water system comprises a series of ground water wells. The wellheads are all over town. The time it takes for a drop of water to travel from the ground's surface to the underground reservoir is less than a year. This time is tracked by pollutants that sometimes show up when a business or individual is not careful. Very serious consideration is paid to the "time of travel" and depending on where you live or have a business in relation to a wellhead, there are requirements to follow to preserve the pure water. This fascinated me; so often we describe the importance of pervious pavers, retention gardens, bioswales and rain gardens, but here is a town where residents require this knowledge to insure their quality of life.

A MATTER OF PERSPECTIVE
4 photo(s)

october 2014 | by peter reedijk | show project

At the highest point at Powell Butte Nature Park in Portland, OR, I encountered an old tattered mountain finder once carefully erected by industrious Boy Scouts. Sanctioned or not by city officials, it had become a fixture on the landscape enjoyed by hikers, bikers, horsemen and joggers alike. So when it came to creating a new interpretive experience on the butte, it came as no surprise that the old finder was slated to be renovated and incorporated.

As I took in the view and followed the arrows to their respective targets I would have no idea what was involved in renovating a simple Boy Scout project. A compass? A map? A theodolite?

First, there would be a long discussion as to what should be included. What is worthy to be pointed out, and what relates to Portland's water distribution story. What can or can't be seen, What is visible, but too far..., what is difficult to distinguish from the surround area, but is easy to see. As the list solidified, the elevation and distance were compiled. But wait, what is your source. Is it USGS, or Google, or Wikipedia? What about consistency? As science took hold and more people had their opinions vetted, a solution emerged.

As the design also came together, the locations were solidified into steel and concrete. Let's mark the spot. But wait. Are we talking about north, or true north? What is the deviation? What is our point of origin? We are close, so close. Yet something still seems elusive.

A GUIDING LIGHT
8 photo(s)
0 layout(s)

october 2014 | by megan whitaker

My kids and I left rainy Coos Bay and headed north on Hwy. 101- destination Heceta Head Lighthouse. As the day wore on, sun broke through the clouds and when we rounded the corner at mile marker 177, there it was in the distance.

Five minutes later, we pulled into the parking lot for the last tour of the day. Our volunteer was an enthusiastic woman who raved about the renovation of the lighthouse and our involvement in the signage.

My kids were impressed that for early keepers a trip to Florence - which we could see in the distance - was a seven-hour wagon journey. And the trip had to be timed correctly with the tides lest you be left high and not so dry!

The guided tour was a nice bonus, but for those who arrive outside these hours, our panels help fill the void and shed some light on the workings of a modern lighthouse.

RIGHT ARM BLUE, LEFT LEG RED, LEFT ARM YELLOW
6 photo(s)

september 2014 | by ira trussell

George Rogers Park in Lake Oswego, Oregon is beautiful. A portion of it sits right on the Willamette River. Nearby sits an iron furnace built of brick, making you instantly aware that this place has an interesting history.

The park has ball fields and playgrounds, and a week ago, we added a new feature: a "Human Pretzel" game. Based on "Twister," Sea Reach designed large panels with a seasonal twist, featuring stylized snowflakes, suns, fall leaves and summer flowers. Near by is a spinner, which when spun determines where your hand and feet are to be placed on the game board. Give it a couple spins and you may be wound into a knot.

During the install, performed by all macho guys, I tried to get someone to show off his flexibility while I sent the spinner spinning, but no one would take me up on it. I suspect they snuck back later to give it a spin.

The challenge for this installation was designing for rain. The six-foot game panels are embedded in concrete - and due to expansion and contraction with temperature changes, a border needs to be left around the exhibit panels. If water enters the space under the exhibits and freezes, it can push the panels out of the pavement. To mitigate this situation, Sea Reach worked with Lake Oswego Parks to insure that the space beneath the exhibit panels is sloped and has drain holes.

HEMLOCK DAM
4 photo(s)
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september 2014 | by megan whitaker

Decades ago photographs were often thought out and posed; a family picnic at a lake might have been recorded for later generations. For this reason, a photo of locals enjoying Hemlock Lake was something I hoped to find at the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center in Stevenson, Washington.

Unfortunately, the removal of Hemlock Dam divided the community in support or opposition of the Forest Service - hence our involvement in the project. Usually when I request locals for photos of their past, I am met with a warm reception and a flood of stories to accompany each photo. Not so with this project. The call went out and the only response I received was an angry letter.

I had been told the interpretive center would have such photos but after combing through all 24 photo binders, not one photo of Hemlock Lake was to be found-a strange occurrence for such a well-known site - so strange I have to wonder if someone knew I'd be looking for such photos.

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