County of Marin - News Releases - Spirit Nest Art Installation

For Immediate Release
November 07, 2018

Nest Sculpture Attracts Visitors to County Park

Art installation temporarily located at Stafford Lake in Novato

San Rafael, CA – Visitors to Stafford Lake Park will discover a creative new attraction to enjoy at the County of Marin park near Novato. The Spirit Nest, a County-sponsored art installation situated at the park entrance, is a whimsical and unexpected way to educate the public about wildland fire risk and provide an interactive visual interest.  

The Spirit Nest situated at Stafford Lake Park near Novato, with rolling hills in the background.The Spirit Nest will be greeting visitors at Stafford Lake Park through April.

The Spirit Nest is a human-scaled sculpture with the intricate details of a bird nest. Over the summer, volunteers led by nationally acclaimed artist and educator Jayson Fann wove hundreds of eucalyptus branches and spiraling tree sprouts to create the approximately 25-foot-tall sculpture.

The artist and a Marin County Parks team started by harvesting branches as part of ongoing fire fuel management in Terra Linda/Sleepy Hollow Preserve. Eucalyptus, the main nest-building material used in Fann’s projects, is an invasive species and highly flammable. The nest brings awareness to environmental stewardship and creates a place to explore nature. Since the nest was installed at Stafford Lake, visitors and passers-by have been drawn to the park.

“We really wanted to create a special experience for our community and draw people outdoors, especially those who might not have been to our parks before,” said Stephanie Troyan, a Marin County Landscape Designer. “Parks provides an opportunity for physical and mental wellbeing through activity, relaxation and connection with natural world. One way we are doing that is creating space for art as a destination. It is a fun place where you can create an Instagramable moment! We have school groups, families and couples coming to take photos together.”

Fann’s creative work has taken him to more than 30 countries. His Spirit Nests have received attention from the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, NBC’s “Today” show, and other major media outlets.

Marin County has a tradition of supporting the arts and is a hub for creativity and innovation. Art in the Parks is a partnership between Marin County Parks and the Department of Cultural Services that builds on this tradition by working with artists to enliven our public parks and increase access to art. 

Funding for the special project is from Parks and Open Space Measure A.

Visitors may enjoy the Spirit Nest through April. The 139-acre park is just off Novato Boulevard, 2.5 miles west of San Marin High School and 5 miles west of downtown Novato. The park is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  and entrance is free on Measure A days, the first Saturday of each month.

For more information about Fann’s work including educational and teaching opportunities, visit


Stephanie Troyan
Project Manager and Landscape Designer
Marin County Parks

Marin Civic Center
Suite 260
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6366
Email: Stephanie Troyan
Marin County Parks website