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Michael Odegaard shows 8 year-old Sean and Sofie, 4 some of the additions he made to the sculpture while they were at school.

Creating a Coral Garden

Oceanside CA— Friends and neighbors at an apartment building located, 959 Vine Street, in Oceanside, have got together in a community art project and are creating a coral garden.

Sofie adds stripes to part of the coral sculpture. (Clcik on image to enlarge photo)

Sofie concentrates on adding stripes to part of the coral sculpture. (Click on image to enlarge photo)

It began when landscapers were preparing to remove a dead tree from the property. “I thought instead of tearing out the tree, why don’t we re-purpose it. We have enough stuff going to our landfills.” said Michael Odegaard. His mother, Mona, has owned the building for more than twenty years.

“I saw the potential the project had at bringing everyone together and creating something we could all look at years from now and enjoy.” explained Michael, “The Painted Coral sculpture will remind us of the delicate oceanic ecosystems threatened by acidification while also reflecting the vibrant colors of the various undersea plants and animals that live together, as each branch will feature its own unique pattern of colors and shapes.”

Sean adds his personal touch to the sculpture (click on image to enlarge photo)

Sean adds his personal touch to the sculpture (Click on image to enlarge photo)

The project has another benefit. “It keeps the kids away from the street.” said Michael. “Vine Street has become very busy and very dangerous for kids to be near. This keeps them away from there and we are hoping the City does something to calm the traffic on the road.”

Michael said he hopes projects like this will spring up all over the Oceanside, Carlsbad area and has some advice on how to begin. “Just ask them. I was surprised at how easy it was to get people involved, especially the kids. People enjoy being creative, being outside and doing things together.” continued Michael, “I’m not sure this will ever be completed. Someone always has a new idea on what to add to it. It’s sort of a living sculpture made from a dead tree.” They hope to be adding fish windmills among other items as the garden continues to evolve over the summer.