A sculpture of a Catfish made from trash taken from Walnut Creek

Litter Sculptures at Walnut Creek Wetland Center

Raleigh Arts

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Project Details

In collaboration with the Walnut Creek Wetland Park and the City’s Stormwater Management Division, artists Jaclyn Bowie, Nyssa Collins, and Anna Wagner along with Conservation Corps North Carolina volunteers collected more than 800 pounds of trash from Walnut Creek in Raleigh and Ellerbee Creek in Durham and other areas around the Triangle to create sculptural installations at Walnut Creek Wetland Park.

This project was originally part of Mud Day, a community festival held to celebrate wetlands and the importance of connecting children and children-at-heart to nature. Although Mud Day was canceled, the project was continued and the sculptures can be seen on Peterson Street at Walnut Creek Wetland Park.

The sculpture was removed on January 30, 2021. All materials were properly disposed of with the help of a private hauler.

This project is a Temporary Public Art Project.

About the Artwork

Carolina Madtom

While collecting trash in the creeks, the artists discovered a small catfish in an old tire and decided to make one sculpture in the likeness of the catfish, a Carolina Madtom, a rare North Carolinian catfish species that has declined over the years because of water pollution. The sculpture brings attention to the impact we have on the animals that rely on the creek to survive.

The Creation of the Carolina Madtom Sculpture at Walnut Creek Wetland Park

Enjoy a time lapse video of artists Jaclyn Bowie, Nyssa Collins, and Anna Wagner assembling the Carolina Madtom sculpture from trash found in local creeks.

A sign with a turtle and bird made from trash reading Protect Our Wetlands

Fence Artwork

Additionally, the artists worked with volunteers to create a sign from collected trash to hang on a fence at the wetland park. The piece features animals also negatively affected by the pollution of our wetlands.

The Creation of the Protect Our Wetlands Fence Sign at Walnut Creek Wetland Park

Enjoy a time-lapse video of artists and volunteers assembling the Protect Our Wetlands fence sign from trash found in local creeks.


  • Installed in July 2020
  • Sculpture removed January 30, 2021. All materials were properly disposed of with the help of a private hauler.

Artist Information

Artists Jaclyn Bowie, Anna Wagner, and Nyssa Collins in front of their sculpture of a catfish made from trash collected from Walnut Creek


Conservation Corps North Carolina

In order to meet local communities' needs through conservation service, Conservation Corps North Carolina hires young people to expand, maintain, or even restore access to conserved lands so that more North Carolina families can connect with the outdoors.

Learn more about the Conservation Corps North Carolina




Kelly McChesney
Public Art Director

Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Service Categories:
Raleigh Arts
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Learn About StormwaterWater PollutionPublic Art



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