The Map project in La Jolla has stalled, more funds needed
by DAVE SCHWAB
Published - 02/21/19 - 12:05 PM | 5594 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With more than 100 life-sized mosaic images of local marine life, The Map will provide interactive, identification-based learning opportunities for schoolchildren and visitors each year to Kellogg Park.        DON BALCH / VILLAGE NEWS
With more than 100 life-sized mosaic images of local marine life, The Map will provide interactive, identification-based learning opportunities for schoolchildren and visitors each year to Kellogg Park. DON BALCH / VILLAGE NEWS
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It’s difficult to figure out whether the restoration of The Map project, a 2,400-square-foot mosaic depicting La Jolla Shores marine life, is a monumental work of art, or a cutting-edge educational tool.

Actually, it’s both. The original Map, completed in 2008, deteriorated and had to be replaced. Its replacement is presently spread across the concrete floor inside a Scripps Institution of Oceanography building.

The brainchild of famed, late centenarian Scripps oceanographer Walter Munk and his wife, Mary Coakley Munk, who represents nonprofit Friends of La Jolla Shores, creation of The LithoMosaic Map is nearing completion. Once funding is found, The Map is to be returned to its previous location, the educational plaza at Kellogg Park near the playground and restrooms.

But there’s a problem: More money is needed to complete the project.

The Munks have donated $300,000 to the project, with $500,000 yet needed to fund its installation, which will include educational panels and landscaping.

Friends of La Jolla Shores and the Walter Munk Foundation for the Oceans are spearheading the project. 

The timetable for funding and replacing The Map in Kellogg Park has been pushed back now to sometime in September, following Munk’s death, at age 101, on Feb. 8.

Of The Map, Julie Scarpella, project restoration spokesperson said,“It’s very durable. Every tile is cut by hand, glued down by hand, one by one. It’s done in sections anchored in cement.”

The Map represents Munk’s original pioneering research on waves. “Every department of SIO has been represented in this map,” said Scarpella. “It’s for the community. It’s for the park, representing Walter and all of his work.”

Birch Aquarium and local public and private schools are expected to use The Map as a field trip destination. Scuba instructors can also use it as a visual reference, introducing students to local dive sites and marine life.

Once in place, a three-foot-high fence will be installed around The Map’s perimeter to prevent people from using it as a thoroughfare to get to the surf.

“It’s meant to keep people in, and keep people out, and as a safety precaution for kids,” noted Scarpella of the fence. “We just want to keep it a safe environment for kids.”

Bill Kellogg of the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club will provide daily maintenance for the project once it’s finished.

The Map is being fabricated by San Diegans Wick Alexander and Robin Brailsford, who invented its LithoMosaic application technique. It features local sea life, underwater topography and resulting wave refraction. Scarpella added it will be a four- to six-month process to install The Map.

once funding for it is secured.

With more than 100 life-sized mosaic images of local marine life, The Map will provide interactive, identification-based learning opportunities for schoolchildren and visitors each year to Kellogg Park in La Jolla Shores.

Scarpella added it will be a four- to six-month process to install The Map once funding for it is secured.

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