Wading Bridge

The temporary public art installation ‘Wading Bridge’ was installed at Copper Creek Lake Park and designed by New York-based artist Mary Mattingly. This interactive dock was brought to Iowa with the aim of engaging the community in a conversation about the future of the waterways and nearby greenways in the Greater Des Moines area, as described by the Des Moines Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO).

Mary Mattingly’s work has been exhibited all over the world and featured in publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the New Yorker. She recently launched a three-part project with an emphasis on water, ecosystems, and human interaction.
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Mattingly also founded the Waterpod Project, a barge-based public space containing an autonomous habitat. Working with multiple collaborators, from artists to businesses and city agencies, the Waterpod docked at piers in each of the five boroughs of Philadelphia. Over 200,000 people visited the Waterpod in 2009.

Previously installed in the Raccoon River in Water Works Park, the public art installation was moved in response to flood-stage water levels caused by significant rainfall in the Raccoon River watershed.

The Des Moines Area MPO, Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation, Des Moines Water Works Park Foundation, and National Endowment for the Arts and the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, funded the public art project. The art installation was brought to Copper Creek Lake Park by Riverhead Resources.

Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult when on the Wading Bridge. The public can share their ideas for improving the region’s waterways in an interactive online game. Additional details about the regional waterways planning process.