Eco-Earth Globe

Eco-Earth globe

Located in Riverfront Park, the Eco-Earth Globe features the earth, its continents, and regional wildlife and cultural references from around the globe through the use of decorative ceramic tile. Eco-Earth is part of the Salem Public Art Collection. The colorful mosaic highlights cultural diversity through geographry.

Eco-Earth was created in 2003, following almost five years of community volunteer support from a local geographer and amateur and professional artists. Local high school students helped to mold and paint the artistic ceramic tiles that depict wildlife and cultures from around the globe. Hundreds of individuals, families, and businesses donated funds to sponsor countries, territories, states, oceans, and seas.

The large-scale sculpture sits proudly at the south end of Riverfront Park near the Peter Courtney Minto Island Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge. Over time, the condition of the work has deteriorated, and now restoration is required to preserve it.

​Project scope and updates

Through its Salem Public Art Commission, the City of Salem engaged a conservator to help craft a strategy for the restoration and conservation of Eco-Earth.

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About the sculpture

Eco-Earth is built on an old, metal acid ball that was installed here in the 1960s by Boise Cascade. The round, stainless-steel tank is 84.5 feet in circumference. It once held liquid and chemical gases used in the paper making process by Boise Cascade until 1982, when the mill was closed.

The City acquired the property and the tank in the late 1980s. As Riverfront Park was developed, the community set out to convert the acid ball into a colorful mosaic. Now 86,000 ceramic tiles represent the continents and oceans, and 200 clay icons depict wildlife and culture around the globe. The finished piece, guarded by a black iron fence, was unveiled on June 28, 2003.

Get involved

For more information about ways to participate or donate to this project, please contact us.

Contact us

Heather DimkeManagement Analyst IIPublic Works Department
555 Liberty ST SE,
Room 325
Salem, OR 97301