A 50-foot, 400 lb. snake has been seen on the path behind Cleveland Metroparks North Chagrin Nature Center and both children and adults love it. The recently installed snake sculpture, though larger-than-life, is a realistic representation of a northern water snake, a snake that in warmer months can be readily seen in the nearby Sanctuary Marsh and Sunset Pond. Made of fiberglass, the snake is able to withstand all the attention it is getting.
�We wanted to use this sculpture as a focal point to help highlight the role of snakes in ecosystems,� said Jeff Reibe, North Chagrin Nature Center Naturalist. �I often bring groups of kids over for a photo op with the snake during a program, and then talk about (or search for) snakes afterwards. It has proven to be extremely popular with people of all ages, and we have received a lot of positive feedback about it!�
The entire project was designed and built by Cleveland Metroparks staff. �With the exception of size, we produced an accurate representation of this animal that the public and staff can use as both an educational tool as well as a source of recreation,� said Joe Lenkey, Cleveland Metroparks Exhibits Coordinator. �Creating a sculpture this size presented challenges that the staff approached with great expertise and we built not only a beautiful sculpture of an often-misunderstood reptile, but also a powerful tool for education.�
In the wild, northern water snakes are only 3-4 feet in length. Because they live in marshes, ponds and streams, they eat fish and frogs. Northern water snakes are not venomous but can be feisty, striking out if bothered by humans. They also may let out a strong musky odor to deter humans or other animals from messing with them.
In the spring, the snake sculpture will be joined by two frog sculptures providing more learning and photo opportunities.
The project was funded by the Emerald Necklace Endowment Fund that was created to preserve and protect Cleveland Metroparks now and in the future. During the past 12 years approximately $575,000 from the Fund has been re-invested in education programs, trail rehabilitation and capital improvements throughout Cleveland Metroparks. For more information on the Emerald Necklace Endowment Fund, visit clevelandmetroparks.com.
The sculpture was designed for children to climb on, so come out and play!
For more information, visit clevelandmetroparks.com or call 216-635-3200.
SUE ALLEN - 216-635-3338, firstname.lastname@example.org
MARJORIE THOMAS - 216-635-3204, email@example.com