Willamette Valley Mosaic

Great blue heron sculpture with students at North Salem High School

Willamette Valley Mosaic is a public art project for the Straub Environmental Learning Center in Salem, Oregon. Over 300 people created artwork based on the flora and fauna of the Mid Willamette Valley. Children and families at the Straub Environmental Learning Center, children at North Riverfront Park, youth at North Salem High School, Willamette University and Hillcrest Youth Correctional Facility sculpted and painted pieces of the ceramic sculptural relief with artist Lynn Takata.


Students from North Salem High School learned about native species and worked collaboratively to sculpt and paint the bas relief ceramic hand.

Big leaf maples, sword ferns, vine maple leaves and a red legged frog are among the images.

 Great blue heron drawing by North Salem High School student Kayla Barnes



North Salem High School students wrote poetry about the environment with poet Marilyn Johnston. 


The Hills

The rolling hills give way
To the soft banks
To the endless running of the river
To the trees that softly border
The sparkling water’s edge.

Trevor Ragon



A vast open world
bordered by hills and mountains
always changing to fit the water.
As it waves and bends, coming
to a roar and diving deep into the end.
Where the rock is all around
and darkness is all
that can be seen.             

Jesus Flores


Student drawing by Fernando Guerrero



The wind guides me      
through the sky,
carries me over
nature’s beauty—
sings to me stories
of my ancestors’ streams
and of the tall, ancient trees.

Efrain Arellano


Funded in part by awards from the Oregon Arts Commission and Marion Cultural Development Corp.

Friends of Straub Environmental Learning Center

Friends of Straub Environmental Learning Center

Oregon Arts Commission
Marion Cultural Development Corporation