Art Show highlights top four companies identified in Lake Hiawatha trash


"Anthropocenic Midden Survey - Lake Hiawatha Trash Survey 2019" is a public art installation that focuses on the top four corporations found in the trash at Lake Hiawatha.

The outdoor display will be up for the whole summer and the indoor display ends July 14. View it at MCAD (2501 Stevens Ave.) in the sculpture garden located on 26th St.

On April 20, 2019, 104 volunteers removed 350 pounds of trash from the circumference of Lake Hiawatha in 2.5 hours, including 18,897 items. All of the items were sorted and cataloged. The brand names and parent corporation of each visible brand were recorded. The top four corporations from all the categories have the distinction of being represented in this public sculptural installation. They are 1. Pepsico 2. Coca Cola 3. McDonalds and 4. Mars Corporation. A comprehensive trash survey was also created and accompanies the exhibit.

SENA resident Sean Connaughty is a Minneapolis-based artist and teacher who has been working on addressing severe pollution problems at Lake Hiawatha, his neighborhood lake, for the past five years. Working with his community he has removed 6,000 lbs. of mostly styrofoam and plastic trash since 2015. Lake Hiawatha is home to diverse wildlife and is a key migratory stop for birds and is a tributary to the Mississippi River via Minnehaha Creek. Despite these cleanup efforts the Lake remains littered with trash with more arriving at every rainfall.

"As I see it there are three groups that bear responsibility for the trash in Lake Hiawatha. They are the producer, municipality and consumer. All three will need to change their practices if we are to successfully address the pollution of Lake Hiawatha and the degradation of our water and critical habitat. The municipality in this case is the city of Minneapolis government and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board," said Connaughty. "They created and manage the public infrastructures that deliver polluted stormwater to our shared water resource."

The complete trash survey data:


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