Situated along the Boardman River at the northeast corner of the Cass Street Bridge in downtown Traverse City is this unique and iconic 12 foot tall statue, aptly named The River Guardian. Created by area artist Dewey Blocksma, The River Guardian has been facing east towards the rising sun and protecting the lovely Boardman River valley since the statue’s completion, unveiling, and dedication in 1999.
Though the statue’s design has received some past criticism, it happens to be my favorite piece of art that I’ve seen in all of Traverse City, since moving here a little over two months ago. Not only is it an iconic creation by Mr. Blocksma, but The River Guardian profoundly honors the love and respect for Mother Earth held by Native Americans, conservationists, environmentalists, and recreational enthusiasts through its eclectic and commanding persona on the riverbank.
Well done, Mr. Blocksma and thank you for this local artistic and placemaking treasure!