Erica Botkin?s, photo, Plaque at Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, 2012

EUREKA >> The College of the Redwoods Art Gallery will present Moon Trees by Erica Botkin, an exhibition featuring photography taken while on a pilgrimage to locate and document moon trees that were planted throughout the United States. The show documents Botkin’s journey and includes unique memorabilia that she acquired along her way.

The exhibition is running from Oct. 6 through Nov. 6, with a special public reception the evening of Friday, Oct. 24 from 5 to 8 p.m., to coincide with CR’s Annual Science Night, where Erica will also be guest speaking in room HU114 at 5:30 p.m. and again at 7:30 p.m.

The trees were grown from seeds that were taken to the moon on Apollo 14 in 1971. The seeds were never taken to the lunar surface; they orbited the moon with astronaut Stuart Roosa. When Apollo 14 returned to earth, the seeds were collected and germinated. At that time, it was not known if being in space would adversely affect plant growth. The specimens were dispersed during the American Bicentennial to be planted across the United States. It was soon realized that the trees were normal and excitement dissipated. Knowledge and maintenance of the existing moon trees quickly faded, leaving the trees unaccounted for until NASA scientist, Dave Williams compiled a word of mouth chronicle identifying their whereabouts. Inspired, Erica Botkin began her quest, accounting for approximately 50 of the known specimens.

The College of the Redwoods Art Gallery is located in the Creative Arts Complex on the Eureka Main Campus, via the North Entrance. The gallery is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, please phone the division office at 707-476-4559.

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