Island announces Sea Turtle Trail project

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — As visitors explore the Island, a variety of traditional and themed sandcastles can be spotted throughout the area, which highlight the city’s natural surroundings.

However, in the near future, visitors will be able to encounter additional artistic features that will be scattered throughout the Island.

During a City Council meeting this past week, Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Ed Caum announced his establishment of a Sea Turtle Trail project, which will be led by a newly created Sea Turtle Task Force.

The idea is to collaborate with local businesses and artists to create five to 10 sea turtle sculptures that will each have their own name, persona and GPS coordinate.

The time frame for the project estimates the Turtle Trail will be complete within the next 18 months or so.

The current plan is to split the cost of the sculptures 50/50 with local businesses that are interested in having a sea turtle sculpture hosted on their property.

According to Caum, there are not any cost estimates so far, but research has been done that’s shown different levels of cost.

“ We really haven’t turned all of the rocks over yet,” he said. “But, I think there are lots of opportunities for not just an Island partnership, but really a partnership across the Valley with local artists from all walks of life, which I think would be cool, but it just depends how many partners we get to come to the table.”

Caum said the goals and hopes for the sea turtle trail project are to continue the tradition of the sandcastle trail and to expose people to arts and culture through the use of unique pieces.

“ There are no two sandcastles that are built alike, so that’s unique,” he said. “With the turtle trail, we’d like to do the same thing so that different artists can express themselves on a canvas of a rosin turtle.”

So far, there is no definite design for the sea turtle trail, but each turtle sculpture could be between 3 feet or 5 feet tall depending on their pose and location.

Caum said the task force is seeking more help and volunteers for the project.

The Turtle Trail Task Force’s next meeting is set for June 19 at 2 p.m. in Caum’s office at the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“ We’d love to have everybody involved who would like to give input, join our committee or become partners in this,” Caum said. “It’ll be a community project.”

ahernandez@valleystar.com