Adding a little excitement to the sleepy streets of Toledo, Ohio this weekend was an art installation gone rogue. Originally wedged between Ice restaurant and Roulet jewelers, the RedBall was rousted by high winds and bounced and/or rolled down Madison Avenue. Except for a street sign that was slightly damaged by the 15-foot, 250-pound vinyl sphere, there were no injuries.
The Toledo Shipping Channel is the most heavily dredged port in the Great Lakes. Each year massive barges haul up to one million cubic yards of mud and debris, scooped from the bottom of Lake Erie at the mouth of the Maumee River, to elsewhere in the lake and to confined disposal facilities. “A minor portion” of dredged material is “beneficially used,” according to a sediment management plan supplied to the Toledo Harbor Dredge Task Force in 2012.
That’s a missed opportunity, say some environmental advocates and landscape architects like Sean Burkholder, a professor of landscape and urban design at SUNY/University of Buffalo. In February he’s calling for entrants to the North Coast Design Competition to help re-envision Toledo’s waterfront. This year’s competition is called “Designing Dredge.”