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Fourth Graders Bridge the Canal: Laurel Dell

By Shirl Buss, Architect and Educator and Cathy Bowman, Mentor Artist
Building upon the work they have done with Dustin Foster, Suzanne Joyal and us, Mr. Seligman’s fourth grade class started looking at San Rafael Creek/Canal in more detail, studying photos of different conditions along the waterway.
We also studied images of different types of river bridges and best practices for bridging small urban waterways.  We focused on how to how bridging can be a part of efforts to bring formerly degraded rivers back to life as an asset in the city.
Then the students worked in teams to draw and design small pedestrian bridges (and some vehicular ones as well) to span the creek at different points. They did a wonderful job of designing and thinking!  And building!  All in an hour and a half!
Thank you so much to the wonderful supporters of this project: UC Berkeley’s Y-Plan, the California Arts Council, and the teachers, staff and parents of Laurel Dell Elementary School.
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