WHALE 10TH ST NR N ST-2 (1 of 1)
Capitol Park groundskeeper Joel Nobes tends to a bed of drought-tolerant plants that includes a whale topiary.

Tucked in a bed of drought-tolerant plants on the corner of 10th and N Streets, a jovial whale carved out of a California-native ceanothus plant smiles at passersby. It’s the only topiary in the 40-acre Capitol Park.

“If someone wants to take the initiative to be creative and practice their skills, and they’re ahead with their work for the week, we don’t want to stifle that,” says Mike Nielson, supervising groundskeeper II at the park.

In place for about eight years, the whale topiary adds a dose of merriment outside a building that houses serious business. It’s also a testament to the pride in craftsmanship shown by the groundskeepers.

“When you come here, you get a sense of history,” says Larry Filosena, supervising groundskeeper I. “Generation after generation has walked through here. The crews work hard to make it happen.”

Written by California Department of General Services

The Department of General Services (DGS) serves as business manager for the state of California. General Services helps to better serve the public by providing a variety of services to state agencies through procurement and acquisition solutions, real estate management and design, environmentally friendly transportation, professional printing, design and web services, and funding for the creation and construction of safe schools. The DGS vision: Excellence in the Business of Government!

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