“Follow the Flush” is a free participatory 5K walk following the path of wastewater through interesting landscapes that are hybrids of urban infrastructure and natural features. Interactive art installations and educational displays along the way offer a fun way for people to learn more about what happens after we flush the toilet, and to engage in some potty humor as a playful way into more serious conversations about waste, sanitation, sustainability, and resilience. The walk ends at the wastewater treatment facility, where tours of the facility and will celebrate the work that goes into maintaining this critical infrastructure, including the role that microorganisms play in processing human waste and making us who we are.
PLANNING: The walk takes approximately 2 hours, leaving every half hour between 9:30–11:30am from Start location at East Remote Lot. Parking at East Remote Lot is free on weekends. The walk is immediately followed by a celebration at the Finish location at Neary Lagoon (110 California St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060) featuring interactive art installations and performances, as well as free public tours of the wastewater plant at 11, 12, 1, and 2pm. (Register in advance to reserve a spot.) Bus 19 leaves from Bay and California every hour, takes about 25 minutes to return to start at East Remote Lot. For the full the experience, plan 2.5–3 hours.
This is a FREE and family-friendly event! Kids are welcome, though all adults attending (and anyone who wants a commemorative T-shirt) should be registered separately. And expect some healthy discussion of bodily functions! ;)
Art installations and performances, water tables that double as interactive displays from water-related nonprofits, and a variety of family-friendly games and activities.
Art installations and performances
Interactive displays from water-related nonprofits
Waste Mapping exercise, Best Bathroom prize, toilet humor, “Pin the Poop,” Cornhole, water tastings and drinking contests, and other fun games and activities!
Part of an ongoing series of walks held in various US cities, the 2018 event in Santa Cruz is co-developed with the support of the City of Santa Cruz and the Santa Cruz Arts Commission, independent artist studio FICTILIS, an undergraduate research group within the DANM department at UCSC, and other Santa Cruz artists and groups.