We are proud to announce that we have donated our turtle sculpture from Turtles on the Town to the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. A ceremony celebrating the official turtle dedication gift was held on November 30 with approximately 25 people in attendance.
We were pleased to have our turtle make a permanent home where the public can enjoy its artistic uniqueness. The turtle will be on display at Rookery Bay’s Environmental Learning Center for guests to enjoy.
The turtle sculpture was designed and painted by local artist Bradford Hermann. The Friends of Rookery Bay were excited to provide a permanent home for “Deflective Paradigm,” a Turtles on the Town sculpture.
Turtles on the Town was a collaboration designed by the Community Foundation of Collier County, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida and the United Arts Council as an engaging arts project. The project was designed to support the arts, environment and promote charitable giving. The project featured 50 loggerhead sea turtle sculptures that were displayed throughout Collier County. As the logistics sponsor of the event, we were fortunate enough to receive a turtle for our support.
“The generous donation of this beautiful sea turtle sculpture to the Rookery Bay Reserve is greatly appreciated. The new turtle will help greet the thousands of people that visit Rookery Bay’s Environmental Learning Center each year, to learn more about their coastal environment,” said Athan Barkoukis, Executive Director of Friends of Rookery Bay.
According to Barkoukis, Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center is a perfect location for the turtle. Rookery Bay Reserve’s 110,000-acres of pristine coastal environment include barrier island beaches that are used by hundreds of loggerhead sea turtles each year for nesting grounds. Following the Deepwater Horizon spill six years ago, biologists released over 130 endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles into Rookery Bay waters because it represents one of the Gulf’s most important feeding grounds for these turtles.
“If our gift can help educate the public about sea turtles and protecting our environment, we will be pleased,” says Jim Henderson, owner of William C. Huff. “The Rookery Bay mission is important to all of us.”