The organization’s 2018/2019 Black Bear project was successfully completed with the unveiling of the bears in June of 2019.
A Mama Bear and two cubs are a visual and interactive means of increasing the education of indigenous species for the people of Hillsdale. Beginning with a Mama Bear, our artist made cubs that children can play on. This bronze commemoration of native animals which formerly inhabited this area will preserve our local heritage for present and future generations. Along with raising awareness for wildlife no longer present in Hillsdale County, it will also provide a means of tourism and recreation for its people. The Black Bears are climbable for children and something with which they can interact. The finished project is located along the Baw Beese Trail for the enjoyment of all walkers, runners, bikers, etc. Although these will have the most exposure to the piece, it will also affect all of Hillsdale County by providing a place for tourism and beneficially creating ambiance, environment, and energy in Hillsdale. Our Youth Counsel helped with research for the project to provide an accurate representation of Black Bears. They directly aided the artist by heating the clay which is initially in a hard brick form that needs to be molded. By learning about the sculpting process from Heather, they gained valuable experience that they can later share with the community in future projects. Our Youth Council gained artistic knowledge with their participation in this project which can they share with Hillsdale County in the next generation. Project Artist
The Bears were created by sculptor Heather Tritchka, M.A., whose work includes Hillsdale College’s Winston Churchill statue and The Heritage Association’s Winona statue.