Plastic Bottle Art Point Reyes National Seashore

When you drive up to the main visitor center (Bear Valley Visitor Center) at Point Reyes National Seashore (CA), the first thing that will catch you eye is five large bottles, which are themselves filled with plastic bottles, sitting in a field:

year worth of plastic found Point Reyes National Seashore

Plastic bottles found Point Reyes visitors center

These are part of an art project created by Richard James which he hopes nobody will enjoy. He created the plastic bottle art from the large amounts of trash that he has collected on the shores of Point Reyes National Seashore. The five 8 foot tall bottles that are filled with plastic bottles are just the plastic bottles James found during one year of collecting trash on the shores of Point Reyes. Not all people like the art, but it serves to show where many of the plastic bottles we use end up.

On the fence by the bottles is an explanation of the art:

Thirsty Point Reyes National Seashore


In One year
One person collected these bottles
On the beaches of One national park: Point Reyes.

Most plastic in the ocean breaks into particles that contaminate the fish that eat them and us when we eat the fish.

Use One metal bottle.

I have a policy to always leave the National Parks I visit in better shape than when I arrive. While at Point Reyes, I filled up two large bags with trash that had washed up on the beaches that I walked. It hardly took any time to do this, so I can imagine the amount of trash that James has collected in all the hours that he has spent cleaning the beaches. I hope that we all can get into the habit of leaving every National Park in better shape than when you arrived — and if you haven’t yet purchased yourself a metal water bottle, do it.

Bear Valley Visitors Center Point Reyes National Seashore

The first place I begin all my visits to National Parks is at the visitors center. Even if I know a park fairly well, the staff at the visitors center will know the latest news regarding the park. That information will often lead me to do something which I may not have been planning to do that day. If I’m unfamiliar with the park, and especially if it is my first visit, the staff can give me the list of places that I should absolutely see and what I should do within the park for the time frame I have.

Bear Valley Visitors Center at Point Reyes National Seashore

In addition to the helpful staff, the Bear Valley visitors center at Point Reyes National Seashore (CA) has an excellent little museum style display of the animals which live within the park, including a huge, life-size elephant seal to greet you as you walk in:

Elephant seal in Bear Valley Visitors Center at Point Reyes National Seashore

I took my 6 year old niece through all the displays and she was fascinated with all the animals and the information about them. For any child who likes animals, it’s worth putting aside a little extra time to walk through the animal displays at the visitors center.

Sea bird display in Bear Valley visitors center at Point Reyes National Seashore

Animal display in Bear Valley Visitors Center at Point Reyes National Seashore