The River Guardian – Traverse City, Michigan - Atlas Obscura

Traverse City, Michigan

The River Guardian

A 12-foot sculpture serves as a constant reminder of the importance of protecting and restoring the Boardman River.    

Standing 12 feet tall, the “River Guardian” proudly overlooks the Boardman River in downtown Traverse City, Michigan in its enduring role of promoting river protection and restoration.

The “River Guardian” and its nearby cousin, the “Circle of Life” occupy a riverfront sculpture court located adjacent to the Boardman River as it flows through downtown Traverse City on its course to the West Arm of Grand Traverse Bay.  

Both sculptures were created by Michigan artist Dewey Blocksma utilizing found objects and were installed here in 1999.  Though initially dismissed by some because it is not a “traditional” sculpture, “The River Guardian” has proudly faced the eastern sunrise for two decades and serves as a constant reminder of the importance of protecting and restoring the Boardman River watershed.   

The sculpture court is also an excellent place for quiet reflection where you can often see folks fishing, kayaking, or just enjoying the day.  

Know Before You Go

The sculpture court is located at the northeast corner of the N. Cass Street Bridge over the Boardman River. Metered parking is available at several nearby city parking lots.

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