“The Care Takers” Stone Mosaic

“The Care Takers” is a large scale natural stone mosaic at Ocean View Elementary School in Norfolk, Virginia.

Called “The Care Takers”, the OceanView mosaic is inspired by the school’s strong connection to the Chesapeake Bay and the surrounding environs. The school runs an amazing hands-on program that engages kids in caring for the maritime ecosystem and developing aquaculture projects. Older students guide younger learners through the life cycle of the oyster and the process of analyzing water quality. Seeing kids who care, and a school that supports them, gives me great hope for the future.

I wanted this mosaic to celebrate the students and their commitment to environmental stewardship and scientific inquiry. It’s inspiring to see young people taking on leadership roles and teaching other students about our responsibility to take better care of our beautiful blue planet. The mosaic features two students, one of whom is seen placing an oyster into the bay. The mosaic includes several different sea creatures, a nod to the importance and grandeur of biodiversity. The Chesapeake Bay plays an integral role as the primary breeding ground of the striped bass, which were decimated by overfishing and pollution in the 70’s and 80’s. Environmental groups and governmental agencies worked together to change water quality and fishing regulations, helping the dwindling populations to slowly recover. A larger striper featured prominently in the mosaic honors that small, but important success in environmental stewardship.