Dialogue with the River

The Maumee River is the largest Great Lakes watershed, draining all or part of 17 Ohio counties, two Michigan counties, and five Indiana counties into Maumee Bay, and then to Lake Erie just east of Toledo, Ohio. [Source]


From my home in the farm fields outside of Bowling Green, Ohio, water runs into manmade ditches that drain the Great Black Swamp (the Maumee River watershed). Waters flow both north to the Maumee River, and south to the Portage River that winds its way east and finally north emptying into the Western Basin of Lake Erie. The Maumee River and its surrounding watershed have a great impact on the health of Lake Erie (the shallowest of the Great Lakes). Contemporary water issues have been reported on national and global news sites, yet awareness of the environmental, economic and aesthetic impact of the river’s health is still in its infancy.

Dialogue with the River, was a group-completed, temporary work of art based on Tibetan Prayer Flags. Three 12' high poles held 660 hand-dyed and hand silk-screened flags with images of the fishes of the Maumee River and Lake Erie were printed on the colorful fabric. The work was sited near the Maumee River in downtown Toledo during a community festival sponsored by the Arts Commission. Didactic materials from regional and national groups such as: Partners for Clean Streams, The Black Swamp Conservancy and the Nature Conservancy were available for visitors.