Several Rare Species Possibly on Sculpture Trail

Northern Bog Violet (Viola nephrophylla) the species name “nephrophylla” means kidney-leaf and refers to the shape of the basal leaves. (New York Natural Heritage Program)

Find out in the July/August 2020 issue of Life in the Finger Lakes what is new on the Ludovico Sculpture Trail in Seneca Falls. For over twenty years, a former canal towpath which later became a bed for the Lehigh Valley Railroad has been transformed into a scenic canal-side walkway combining recreational opportunities with venues for enjoying art.

There are now over 20 works of art on this trail, beginning with Protector of the Trail, a bronze bust of Susanne Hawker, the first female police officer in Seneca Falls, sculpted by Dexter Benedict. Many sculptures and a few paintings with themes related to Seneca Falls and the Finger Lakes, continue for a mile and a half along the south bank of the Cayuga-Seneca Canal. Near trail’s end, Working Man’s Alchemy, created by Audrey Iwanicki pays tribute to Goulds Pumps, one of the area’s major employers. Not far beyond, is the newest installation, Stainless Steel Jacketed Process Vessel, an intriguing salvaged machine-made object once used by a local manufacturer.

The trail setting may also be host to endangered, threatened or rare animals and plant species. Not long ago when local officials proposed a sewer line to the town’s wastewater plant be installed under the trail, the Friends of Ludovico Sculpture Trail and other supporters successfully blocked the plans they feared would disrupt the property. As it happens, due to the possible presence of rare species such as the imperial moth, the northern bog violet, and the northern long-eared bat, the civic project must be carried out along a different route.

The Ludovico Sculpture Trail is part of the Canalway Trails of New York, providing opportunities for artists to create and install outdoor sculptures which explore historic and contemporary issues of society. For information on this dawn-to-dusk trail, check its Facebook page.

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