Artists Create Geodesic Dome Sculpture at Riverland Park & Farm of the Future to Honor Fire Victims

The Carr Fire sparked the imagination of north state artist Charles Lasater to create a one-of-a-kind geodesic globe sculpture located near the Knighton Road exit halfway between Redding and Anderson. The new I-5 icon community art sphere is the gateway to Providence’s Farm of the Future and the Riverland Park trail and riparian corridor along a beautiful picturesque part of the Sacramento River.

The globe symbolizes the park and farm theme of Making a Better World Growing Healthy People, Plants, Parks and Planet.

The sculpture creators, Charles Lasater and Robert Lasiter (unrelated), were inspired following the horrific Carr and Camp fires of 2018 to provide inexpensive temporary housing for fire victims with geodesic dome homes. After extensive research Charles found Robert Lassiter of DarwinDomes had designed a unique geodesic model. Charles added his own artistic touch.

Charles was at the Redding Home Depot requesting donated waste lumber for dome construction when he met at the checkout counter, Bud Hancock, CEO of non-profit www.ProvidenceInternational.org. A conversation and relationship ensued that led to the construction of the community art globe sculpture artfully placed on the base of an old dairy farm silo. This art adorns the highly visible gateway to Riverland Park and Farm of the Future.

Fitting to Providence’s Riverland agritourism site, this eye-popping art links well to Providence’s theme of transforming trash to treasure and waste into wealth into this new green garden of hope project. This unforgettable icon catches the eyes of 130,000 people a day passing the Knighton Road/Airport Road exit.

Providence will take site tour reservations beginning January 2020. The tour will feature state of the art technologies, animal and plant species and organic growing best practices demos. School age children 12 and under attend free. Each guest family can take home a free plant.

Riverland Park

Riverland Park is one of California’s most beautiful natural resources situated on the Sacramento River between Redding and Anderson on Interstate I-5. Riverland Park is an agriculture agritourism designed model park and farm of the future that combines the latest state of the art in water, wind and energy production and conservation with the distinctive goal of being a 0 net energy site. The site will feature aquaponics, permaculture, and greenhouse technologies for healthy organic food production, a river front riparian corridor of trails and native plantings.

The vision for this signature park includes a river walk, a healthy food production hub for California fruits, nuts and vegetable crops, riparian and native plantings and water, wind and solar energy production and conservation. It is a recreation and education interactive and interpretive adventure for healthier living.

RIverland Park and Farm is managed by Providence International Enterprises, a Redding based non-profit 501c3 organization, dedicated for the past 20 years to building job creating partnerships to free families from poverty and dependency locally and globally through enterprise development, work experience, housing, job training and placement. This centerpiece riverfront I-5 open space zoned property is owned by the City of Redding. The river trail links to the Bureau of Land Management 200 acre river front property. Nichols, Melburg & Rossetto architects have donated their services in the site planning as a community and public service.

The City of Redding Council approved unanimously a 15 year extendable lease to Providence for the central parcel farm of the future. Providence has cleared the land over the past 4 years and produced five winter hay crops and planted a 375 fruit and nut tree orchard donated by the Fruit Tree Foundation and Sierra Gold Nurseries. In-kind and cash improvements of $1.2 million donated for the site to date. Fence, irrigation infrastructure and electric power are installed. A $1.4 million grant has been awarded for parking, restrooms and trail upgrading and finish.

An irrigation pump capable of providing drip irrigation and fertigation for the site has been donated and installed by J&J Pumps. John Tiedeman USDA has done the topo mapping, soil testing and site drip irrigation system. Sponsors include: Hawes Farms, J&J Pumps, Cresco/CAT, Dr. Randy Smith, Wagner Electric, Aamigo Irrigation, Taylor Motors, Emerald Kingdom Greenhouses, Sierra Pacific Industries, PACE engineering, Crystal Creek Aggregate, Home Depot, Strange&Sons Fencing, Shasta Redi Mix, Tyndale Fund, McConnell Fund, Stewardship Trust, Farm Supply, Redding Landscape Design, EBJ Construction, Northern Roots and Big Valley Sanitation

The 2019 plan is to seek approval of a agritourism county ordinance, complete construction of two state of the art greenhouses, install solar arrays and expand the water system for drip irrigation, relocate the parking area to trailhead entrance, feature farm art, expand construction of the river trail and the orchard by 100 fruit/nut/citrus trees. Providence invites sponsors, grants, donor and memorial gifts for the project. The 2200 foot extension of the south riverfront trail is cut and plantings of native plants along the riparian corridor began in the spring of 2019.

Providence is enlisting green companies in the provision of solar and other state of the art energy and water saving generating equipment, completing the drip irrigation system for sustainable perennial plantings, beginning work on new entrance and parking and engaging service clubs, grantors and the public in project participation. Site plans and design guidelines and an aerial video are available on request.

Contact: Bud Hancock www.ProvidenceInternational.org Phone: 530-243-3373; Email: Providence@charter.net City Contact: Kim Niemer, COR Director of Community Services 530-225-4085

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-from press release
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20 Responses

  1. I’ve been wondering about that sculpture. Thanks for the interesting information. And a special thanks to the artists who created this awesome work of public art.

  2. Avatar Janet Williams says:

    Each day I marvel at this dome. This is a truly exciting project and a wonderful gift to this area.

  3. Avatar Sue says:

    I’m a bit confused – Charles Lasater and Robert Lasiter who were inspired to provide inexpensive temporary housing for fire victims with geodesic dome homes following the horrific Carr and Camp fires of 2018 —- did they indeed build temporary housing for fire victims with geodesic dome homes or did they just build this sculpture????

    • Hi Russell, I met you at your home a couple of times to offer to give you a tour and that offer still stands. The site is not locked up even though the inner gate is closed to keep the deer out of the orchard and gardens. The organically grown food goes to food shelters and food banks as well as some is sold to subscribers to create work and cover the expenses of growing it. The trails are open from dawn to dusk to the public with access to the BLM property. Hope this is helpful to your understanding. Know you are welcome to visit and do a tour. Email us at Providence@charter.net

    • Hi Sue, Thanks for your question. I will have the artist respond to your question. I have seen the full scale dome prototype and know it was approved for temporary housing but my understanding is that FEMA alternatives were used and they were not mass produced and utilized. They can be used in ag exempt sites for storage, animal shelters and some other uses but not yet as dwelling for people in Shasta County. They can be built to meet CA code and are structurally very strong. The Riverland sculpture community art piece is the only one like it in the world. It is not the typical equalateral triangle geodesic stucture but has three different forms of triangulation and is built more like a soccer ball. I will invite the artist Charles Lasater to provide more of the engineering details if your are interested in learning more.

    • I’ll leave it to the Providence folks and the artists to reply to your question about the housing component, but sometimes what begins as an idea to do one thing evolves into something completely different.

      I like seeing the dome as I drive down I-5, and appreciate that the Carr and Camp fires served as the artists’ inspiration. They created this as a public art project, and I won’t look that gift horse in the mouth.

  4. Avatar Russell K. Hunt says:

    While I support this group’s efforts,, 40 acres of city owned public property is locked up. And the only access to the 70 acres of BLM land next door, on the river, is too. Caltrans has an easement on this land that doesn’t permit structures on it for 150 ft. off the freeway. So we shall see.

    • Russell this is helping to preserve this land and you are complaining about this when a mile or two up the freeway, along the river, is where Win-River is building their huge casino, resort, etc….? A sculpture versus a huge commercial flashing neon sign? Really?

  5. Avatar Barbara says:

    This seems odd. This is obviously a promotional piece for Providence. What’s the outcome of the Geodome? Any actual benefit to fire survivors? Looks like someone else using the fire and someone’s art project to promote their own non related project and get some free Press.

    • Hi Barbara, My father and mother taught me never to make assumptions until I got all the facts. Please know you are welcome to come October 5 at 10am for a tour. I suggest you meet the local artist, Charles Lasater as he is the most knowledgeable re the details and benefits of dome stucturees. He is very approachable and engaging. Fire victims have been beneficiaries of our nursery stock in conifers, strawberries and oaks for replanting. Some are our volunteers and others recievc our weekly organically grown produce. The benefits specific to the community art globe are already evident in the pleasure and joy feedback from hundreds of citizens. The intrigue has led to volunteer sign ups, family pictures and the pleasure and joy in connecting the dots symbolically to Build a Better World by Growing Healthy People, Plants, Parks and Planet. Know that you are welcome to come and see the whole site as a work in progress and we would welcome your participation to create an environment and relationship to restore our people, land and provide an unforgettable experience for all who grace this educational and recreational gem of the north state. http://www.ProvidenceInternational.org Feel free to email or call. Contact info at the bottome of the News Cafe article and on our website.

    • Barbara, it’s a press release, written by Providence folks, and we knew that when we published it. While I agree that it does promote the Providence project, I thought it was newsworthy in terms of giving details about the dome that can be seen while driving on I-5, such as the sculpture’s creators, and the genesis of the piece.

  6. Avatar erin friedman says:

    Now we need a song! 🙂

  7. What if City of Redding 15 year extendable lease to Providence is not extended? Will 375 fruit and nut tree orchard donated by the Fruit Tree Foundation and Sierra Gold Nurseries revert back to City of Redding control? I love the idea of organic food donated to food banks and charities and hope the understandable subscriber rate is low , like Feeding America, etc…. I looked at your site and although I find the word God I do not see the words Jesus Christ and knowing you to be a strong Christian you will have to forgive me if I find it a bit odd

    Never the less what an exciting project and lets pray the Winds dont come up and blow that ball all the way down to Anderson 😉

    • Hi Chris, Thanks for your comments and question. The 15 year Riverland lease to Providence by the City of Redding is extendable and additionally our board requested and was granted the first right of refusal should it ever be sold. Additionally the City has assured us they have no intention to sell and the site is zoned Open Space which makes it nearly impossible for it to be purchased for a development. We see the site as an educational venue for the latest best practices and technologies for growing healthy plants, animals with composting, aquaculture, permaculture and demonstrations of water, wind, renewable energy conservation and farm art and creative stuctures.
      Providence is not a religious organization and I am not a fan of religion. I do share a personal relationship with Christ but choose to wear it in my heart and not as a “lapel button”.
      Love always provides choice and cannot be imposed against anyones will. I would rather win the right to be heard. Should anyone care to hear my story of my faith discovery I am happy to share it but never will I attempt to impose it upon anyone.
      Providence does not discriminate in any form. We love and respect everyone and value all people equally. Hope this addresses your questions. Come let us give you a tour.

  8. Frank Treadway Frank Treadway says:

    Yea for the dome…however, I would like to see the dome heavily anchored and a fence around it so it doesn’t end up like the prior public art pieces, totally destroyed.

  9. Avatar Candace C says:

    I think the dome is fantastic and I loved learning about it (also love this, “ I do share a personal relationship with Christ but choose to wear it in my heart and not as a “lapel button”.) Hear, hear, to that!

  10. Avatar CHRISTIAN Gardinier says:

    Greetings Providence,

    We would love to have you come speak to us about the project. Perhaps there is something in spirit, labor, love and maybe $ we can contribute to the effort.

    Thanks

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