Watermark is a public art piece located along the St. John River on Fredericton’s Southside that is not just a pretty sculpture: it provides a visual representation of the annual spring flood or freshet experienced along this river and tells the story of past high-water levels.
This piece consists of a row of 11 copper-clad wood posts of various heights to create a wave crest pattern. At the tops of ten of the markers, numbers are embedded in resin indicating metre-levels. The lowest post, when covered by water, indicates that flood stage has occurred (6.5m).
The centre post is the history marker and has various years embossed in natural copper and placed at heights corresponding to water levels reached in that year. Many people stop at the site while using the adjacent section of The Great Trail, and recall their memories of past floods, including the significant flood of 1973. Last fall, Watermark’s centre post was updated with a plate to mark the significant level reached in 2018- the highest in recorded flood history.
Watermark was created by Prince Edward Island artist Gerald Beaulieu. The piece was commissioned by the City of Fredericton to provide an annual high-water marker for the community and was installed next to the riverbank in May 2016.