During the renovation of Bergen Place Park in Ballard, five massive cedar posts were salvaged and symbolically turned back into “Witness” trees (markers for the first U.S. land surveys in 1851.) These noble trees become storytellers, each revealing a layer of Ballard's geological, botanical, and cultural history.
Immigrant Tree is inspired by genealogical trees and the mythological Nordic tree Yggdrasil. The blue and white "cloud" palette is influenced by maritime trade of blue and white porcelain that made its way into many cultures finding an enduring legacy in the Danish patterns of Royal Copenhagen and can be seen as a metaphor for cross-cultural immigration to Ballard. Traditional embroidery from Norway sows the seed of Immigrant Tree's flower motif.
Fossil Tree reflects the countless eons of rich marine life in Shilshole Bay.
First Tree is derived from what scientists believe the first tree looked like 420 million years ago and was inspired by the intricate paper cut-outs of Hans Christian Andersen.
During the construction of the Chittenden Locks in Ballard, giant mountains of clam shells were found that had been discarded over centuries by the early Coastal Salish Lake People who were one of several bands which formed the Duwamish tribes. Clam Tree takes its shape from Coast Salish clam baskets and the mountains of clam shells are a depiction of those remains.
Six Norwegian Maples were felled to make way for the park’s new design. New Growth Tree metaphorically grafts the old and the new and represents the very moment in which the park takes on a new life.