Artist who made dinosaur sculptures at Allaire State Park saddened by their destruction

A local artist who spent months using sticks and rope to create her own version of dinosaur skeletons at Allaire State Park in Wall Township was upset to see most of those sculptures destroyed.

News 12 Staff

Oct 19, 2022, 11:56 AM

Updated 643 days ago

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A local artist who spent months using sticks and rope to create her own version of dinosaur skeletons at Allaire State Park in Wall Township was upset to see most of those sculptures destroyed.
Robin Ruggiero built most of the wooden skeletons during the pandemic and she says they became a source of hope for many visitors.  
“It was just an inspiration that just came through after seeing one piece of wood, and I said it looks like a dinosaur tail,” says Ruggiero.
A collection of twigs and rope – a simple idea turned into a masterpiece.  
“I put it on a stick, and I went around looking for the rest of his body,” says Ruggiero.
In an often-unnoticed corner of Allaire State Park, a small pine forest transformed into a throwback to the Jurassic Period – until last week – when Ruggiero noticed someone deliberately cut the ropes to many of her sculptures -- turning the creative beauty into a pile of sticks.  
“First, it was I felt like it was a personal attack on me. Someone cut my lines. The people I am so sad for - the children and then the adults. They came from all over, and they are disappointed, there was supposed to be a wedding shoot that day,” says Ruggiero.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection oversees Allaire State Park. A spokesperson said in a statement that they share the sadness felt by Ruggiero and the visitors at the damage, but that no enforcement action can be taken because the project was made by a private visitor.  
Word spread on social media -- messages of sympathy flooded Ruggiero’s Instagram account. Her anger and sadness quickly faded.  
“It pulled me out of a dark place from this, and I appreciate the community so much,” says Ruggiero.
A recent traumatic head injury prevented Ruggiero from spending the time it takes to rebuild the sculptures. She hopes visitors will cherish and enjoy the ones still standing and remember those that are not.  

“I hope they look at the positive of what we looked at together and get them on the map and be this big now, that’s something to be proud of and that wouldn’t have happened without all of them,” says Ruggiero.


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