Alaska Life

Giant magpie sculptures rise along trail at Alaska Botanical Garden

Alaska Botanical Garden’s newest installation features a pair of 22-foot-tall magpies created by Boston-based artists Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein.

The duo, known as The Myth Makers, used birch, alder and willow gathered locally by staff at the gardens to create “Night and Day.” The branches that make up the magpies are anchored to existing trees for support.

Visitors are encouraged to walk under the sculptures, which are along the Lowenfels-Hoersting Family Nature Trail just past the rock garden.

“I think it’s a new demographic for us,” said Patrick Ryan, education specialist at the botanical garden.

Ryan estimates the magpies will be on display for five years, or until the structures fall back into the woods.

Emily Mesner

Emily Mesner is a multimedia journalist for the Anchorage Daily News. She previously worked for the National Park Service at Denali National Park and Preserve and the Western Arctic National Parklands in Kotzebue, at the Cordova Times and at the Jackson Citizen Patriot in Jackson, Michigan.