Gift for Wequiock Creek by Ava Padilla

Gift for Wequiock Creek is a hand-beaded leather tobacco pouch with motifs of Dutchman’s Breeches and a queen Two-Spotted Bumblebee, depicting a relationship of coincident emergence and mutual reliance. The spring ephemeral flowers rely on the queens for pollination, while the queen bees require nourishment in the early spring when first emerging from the winter. 

Opposite panel shows a map of the Wequiock Creek watershed. Together with a hand dyed cotton lining colored with sumac and iron, the bag was constructed as a gift for the community of people working together to ensure the care of the Wequick Creek area in Green Bay. The bag was made through  partnership with Julia Noordyk and Stephanie Dodge, both of whom work to build relationships with First Nations Communities in Green Bay. 


Ava Padilla is in her fourth year at UW-Madison studying Botany. Alongside her studies in science, she pursues interests in French and costume design. As a self-taught bead artist, Ava’s work spans many forms. She is drawn to making three-dimensional art with sculptural and surreal qualities. Her highly chaotic artistic process is rooted in the same careful observation and curiosity that drives her scientific learning. Find more of her art @wanderer.makes

ABOUT THE Water Partner

Stephanie Dodge, pictured left, UW-Green Bay First Nations graduate assistant, and Julia Noordyk, pictured right, UW Sea Grant water quality and coastal communities specialist, are working in collaboration with the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity to create reciprocal values within research, outreach and restoration at the Wequiock Creek Natural Area. The goal of the project is to honor the significance of the area with original inhabitants, Menominee and HoChunk Nations and the Indigenous worldview of reciprocity with nature. Long used for farming, the 76-acre property represents a small portion of unique wetlands and prairie complex in the lower bay shore area of Green Bay. In 2021, Stephanie established the Annual Wequiock Creek Blessing that includes a tobacco offering to honor the gifts of nature and First Nations of the area, updates on restoration efforts and a networking opportunity to foster future partnerships.