‘Nessie’ to be removed from John Ball Zoo pond, recycled

Posted at 1:44 PM, Jul 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-19 13:51:07-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Nessie’s run as a Grand Rapids art piece is about over.

Nessie on the Grand made her debut in the first year of ArtPrize as an art installation in the Grand River.  At the conclusion of ArtPrize, she was moved to the John Ball Zoo pond, where she has “lived” since the fall of 2009.  Nessie is made primarily of styrofoam and the years, water and weather have taken their toll.

Zoo officials say that they’ve been working to keep Nessie intact, even after being “waterlogged” from her time in the Grand River.  They say now that Nessie is too fragile to be preserved any more.

Peter D’Arienzo, the CEO of John Ball Zoo, says the zoo is working with the Dart Corporation in Mason, Michigan to have Nessie recycled and made into a bench that will be placed in the Welcome Garden of the zoo.

“We love Nessie,” D’Arienzo said in a press release. “She is truly unique and we’re grateful for the enjoyment she has brought to the Zoo and our visitors.”

“While we share in the community’s sadness to see Nessie depart from her home at the John Ball Zoo, we take comfort in the fact that her foam #6 body will give life to new products when she is recycled,” said Ashley Elzinga of Dart Container Corporation in the press release.

Nessie will be taken down and removed from the zoo pond on Friday.