Artist Plants Miniature Redwood Forest in Downtown Brooklyn

Timothy Schenck, Courtesy of Public Art Fund, NY
Timothy Schenck, Courtesy of Public Art Fund, NY / Timothy Schenck, Courtesy of Public Art Fund, NY

New Yorkers are used to jungles of the concrete variety. The trees that do line the city’s streets and populate its parks pale in comparison to the immense redwoods that brush the skies above the opposite side of the country. Looking to recreate the wilderness of a redwood forest in an urban setting, artist Spencer Finch planted 4000 trees in a downtown Brooklyn park. The installation mirrors a real forest in California, albeit on a much smaller scale, FastCo.Design reports.

“Lost Man Creek,” named after the original plot of trees it’s modeled after, is a grove of dawn redwood saplings planted in the middle of MetroTech Plaza. Finch came up with the idea over a year ago after he was contacted by the Public Art Fund to design their annual installation for the site. He was inspired by the plaza’s 4500-square-foot wedge of grass and got to work transforming it into a miniature forest.

The project is a 1:100 scale replica of its 790-acre twin on the west coast. Instead of towering trees, the saplings in the park reach a maximum height of 4 feet. Even the topography of the original patch of forest has been recreated using foam blocks to stand in for hills and valleys. The highest hill reaches 8 feet to represent the 800-foot peak in California.

Hyperion, the tallest redwood tree on Earth, stands at nearly 380 feet tall, a height that rivals some of the tallest skyscrapers in Brooklyn. The trees at MetroTech have a long way to go before catching up with their relatives out west: Experts estimate Hyperion to be about 600 years old. Unfortunately the installation won’t be open long enough for the forest to reach its full potential in Brooklyn. After it closes in March, 2018, the trees will be relocated to a new habitat.

[h/t FastCo.Design]

All photos by Timothy Schenck, Courtesy of Public Art Fund, NY

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