Appalachian Flamingo, 2020, Appalachian Trail North Adams, Massachusetts, buoys, tools, steel, bed frames, toys, saw blades, bilge pump, paint brushes, spray paint, pine, maple, plastic pipe

      Appalachian Flamingo, is an on going project, inspired by my time working as a Park Ranger for U.S.Fish & Wildlife. During my time as a ranger I was stationed out of Parker River Wildlife Refuge. Unlike other national parks the refuge is particularly small. The parks spans across 3 of the 9 mile long barrier island, Plum Island, off the coast of Massachusetts. Despite its small size the significance of the park is immense. Parker River Wildlife Refuge host the most diverse group of avian species in the entire United States. During the start of spring time migration it is home to the largest concentration of songbird species in the world. It is an integral spot for migratory, song, shore, and marsh birds.

         The Park is a sanctuary for countless endangered species such as: Ospreys, Snowy Owls, Piping Plovers, Bald Eagles, Horned Lark, and Purple Martins. The park’s protected beaches provide essential breeding grounds for many protected shore birds. Unfortunately, for the birds, the island is quite rapidly disappearing, losing around 6 inches of precious beach every year. This is partially due to climate change and rising sea levels, in addition to repeated dredging off the island. The other 6 miles of Plum Island consists of rows of million dollar summer homes. The property owners who frequent the park for its beauty care more about their investments than the wildlife. The thousands of birds who called Plum Island, home for millions of years are now forced to find new homes, ironically,  from a small group of humans who only spend a few months a year on the island. Flamingos in the mountain valleys is not natural. Birds made from garbage, like these are not natural either. However, there is not a lot of, “natural”, in the world, and day after day there is less and less. This is the unfortunate truth I learned working as a Park Ranger in our countries National Parks.