What better symbol of unity and hope among the people of the United States than have everyone come together to create a Giant American Bald Eagle, the symbol of our democracy.

The project was named, “Come Soar With Us” by Executive Director, Katie Dougherty. The staff saw it as a way of bringing our country together in a time when we all need resilience.  As we continue to have health and social challenges across the nation, we see art as a universal language in which we can all engage.


Rosa gets her name from a great woman of our nation’s history, Rosa Parks, who sought equality and spent her life striving for equal rights.  Rosa is also a very international name, which represents the many immigrants who have helped create our nation for hundreds of years.


Over 1550 volunteers from 7 different states helped with creating panels and trash kabobs that have become feathers on the bald eagle. Over 4,000 volunteer made feathers were created in total.  Norfolk Botanical Garden completed over 700 feathers with hundreds of volunteers.  Hundreds of others participated as well including:  John Ball Zoo in Michigan, Turtle Bay Exploration Park in California, Eaglebrook School in Deerfield, Massachusetts, students from the Washington School for the Blind, Families in Brooklyn New York,  4 Elementary schools in Oregon, volunteers throughout the West, and some hometown Bandon, Oregon residents.



Now, after 8 months of a dedicated staff working tirelessly and with the participation of over 1550 people nation-wide in 7 different states, the Eagle is completed!

Volunteers, just like before the pandemic, learned, saw, and felt that their contributions made a difference. They helped create a magnificent educational piece of art.  We have accomplished an amazing thing by working together and all of us did our small part to create something amazing!


Female Bald eagles can have up to a 7 ft. wing span, Rosa’s wings are about 15 feet.

She is made completely of marine debris and appears to be reaching to grab a giant fish out of the plastic strewn water with her sharp talons.

The entire sculpture is 9.5 ft. tall x 16 ft. long x 7 ft. wide.

She is estimated to weight around 2000 lbs.

Debris probably makes up about 1000 lbs.

She has a welded stainless-steel base covered in tires as base plastic. Marine debris is then cut, wired, and screwed on to depict the textures, colors and patterns of feathers, scales and water.

Norfolk Botanical Garden conducted beach clean-ups in their area and mailed hundreds of pounds of washed debris to Washed Ashore. Much of it is included, including, flip flops, water bottles, cans, and beach toys.

On the sculpture you will notice many items and that we all use every day.  Everything was found on beaches.  We ask that this work of art awaken the hearts and minds to litter, pollution, and consumer choices. Buying less plastic and disposing of trash responsibly is a beginning.


The Bald Eagle is the official symbol of the United States of America and although we have honored the bird since our nation began, we nearly killed it off with pesticides and hunting in the 1900’s. In the 1970’s we finally banned DDT and other toxic sprays and declared the Bald Eagle a protected species, outlawing even the possession of feathers unless you have special permission as a Native American. Because of those changes, it has returned to its previous glory and now, Bald Eagles can be found soaring throughout the USA once again.

Native Americans have always seen the Bald Eagle as sacred and have long treated the bird and its feathers with great respect.  Eagle feathers are used in sacred ceremonies and dances and revered as a symbol of great strength, power and bravery.

The eagle is a highly protected creature under U.S. law but special exceptions are made to allow Native Americans to possess, pass down, gift, and acquire eagle feathers within specific conditions