scbg Gate Iby James Daly and Greg Bartol

If you are one who recognizes great organizations when you see them, then you know that two of them are near each other on Lea Hill in Auburn. Naturally, when Soos Creek Botanical Garden (SCBG) needed a gate to span their large entry, they should turn to their neighbors at Green River College (GRC) Welding Technologies program.

“Not a standard rail-style gate,” said SCBG Director Jim Daly. “This gate should be unique, and be what ‘represents’ us. We are a 20 acre botanical garden of unique trees, plants and more.”

“We have many resourceful volunteers within SCBG,” Daly added. “We designed and built our own entrance sign out by the road, so when we found we needed an entrance gate, Adele Bockelman sketched a design of horizontal branches to span the 27-foot entry: two panels, with vines woven through. But we knew it would take more than just our skills to create it, so we turned to our talented neighbors at GRC, who have the knowledge and skills needed.”

“That’s when I got excited about their project,” GRC welding artist Greg Bartol said. “It will take 200 feet of welding, but the gate can be made in 1/2-round relief.”

When the first panel of the gate was assembled at GRC, Auburn Valley Creative Arts (AVCA) artist Wendy Ray painted it, getting her inspiration from Paul Cezanne’s ‘Pine Tree Near Aix.’ The first panel has been installed at the Garden. The second panel is nearly completed and will be installed around the middle of March.

“The initial sketch was ours, but Greg had a free hand to refine the final design. It turned out great. We can’t thank him and Wendy enough,” said Daly.

“It’s great,” neighbor Jim Franklin said, “I’ve got a beautiful garden and a very interesting gate in my neighborhood!”

Posted 3/17/2015