TAMPA — It’s an image that’s hard to miss.
Over the past two decades, the life-sized sculpted dinosaur near the entrance to the Museum of Science & Industry on East Fowler Avenue has captured the attention of millions of motorists.
The 20-foot tall by 40-foot long creature, dubbed Recyclosaurus Rex, is constructed of recycled steel beams and orange plastic fencing that its creator, Terry Klaaren, found mangled up inside a storage room at MOSI.
“This is the only piece of art I’ve ever done that you can see from space if you Google MOSI,” said Klaaren, a longtime Tampa artist.
During its dedication on Sept. 21, 1993, museum officials tagged it as MOSI’s monument to recycling.
On that day, they also sealed a time capsule at its base, filled with recyclable newspapers and packaging materials; recycled articles, including a T-shirt made from reprocessed plastic and soft drink bottles; and items like cotton shopping bags, that can be reused rather than recycled.
The time capsule will be unveiled at 11 a.m. Saturday (9/21) in celebration of the advancements made in recycling.
“We only have one Earth and it’s encouraging to know that we have continued to work to reduce our ecological footprint since the past two decades and into the future,” said MOSI spokesperson Shannon Herbon.
Wit Ostrenko, MOSI’s president and CEO, concurred, noting the event is an “exciting” opportunity to see where we’ve come from and how we have advanced.
“In this case it’s a symbol of everything MOSI is and has been in the community for the past 20 years,” Ostrenko said. “As science, technology and the world of recycling has evolved, MOSI has been there, helping to facilitate and educate, while keeping it fun and interesting.”
In conjunction with the commemorative event, MOSI will host an expo featuring a variety of environmentally friendly vendors that will include Whole Foods, Tampa Going Green, Truck Farm, the Mosaic Express, 3 Dimensions Recycling, City of Tampa Recycling and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Klaaren will also be on hand.
In addition, there will be activities, games and contests for visitors of all ages.
The MOSI event at 4801 E. Fowler Ave. is included in the museum’s price of admission and is free to its members. Visit MOSI.org for more information.
Joyce McKenzie can be reached at JoyceCMcKenzie@gmail.com.