College of Natural Sciences
In Collaboration with the College of Fine Arts and Moody College of Communications

The Waller Creek Monster

Art, Science and an Exploration of Urban Nature
Longhorn Life
Age group: All Ages

Welcome to the Creek Monster Habitat. This project highlights UT researchers and their work with the local environment and creates a space for the community to connect with Waller Creek on campus by creating an inviting space that generates curiosity for passing pedestrians and displays the creek as an active, living ecosystem. The team that created this program identified two main components to spotlight: the trees along Waller Creek within the 100-year flood plain and the central “nest” structure. This 16-foot-wide by 10-foot-tall nest structure serves as a metaphor for habitat, sheltering the creek's benevolent spirit guardian, "The Creek Monster." It also represents home to all creatures and asks who and what precisely are our monsters. This installation and experience focus on multiple aspects of sustainability, from environmental to mental health and wellness, as we celebrate Waller Creek and Earth Day. The intention is to shine a light on this unrecognized and often ignored jewel of UT Austin at the heart of campus, celebrating UT-based research and data surrounding Waller Creek and the power of art to inspire and engage our university community toward climate action.

This project is an interdisciplinary collaboration of faculty members from the College of Fine Arts, the College of Natural Sciences and the Moody College of Communication. The group wishes to thank supporters: UT Green Fund Grant, Texas Performing Arts, the College of Fine Arts, Waterloo Greenway Conservancy, The Freshman Research Initiative - College of Natural Sciences.