In 1999, teenagers involved in a Chicago Park District program known as the Junior Earth Team (JETS) spent several months learning about nature in Humboldt Park. The JETS developed an interpretive trail and provided sculptor Roman Villarreal with notes and sketches for a series of artworks. The project was made possible by a Joyce Foundation Grant and limestone donated by a quarry in Indiana.
For this project, Villarreal and the students produced three carved artworks that are scattered and remain relatively hidden throughout the park. The three pieces relate to the theme of air, water, and earth. Among the trio is a two-foot tall snail sculpture located northeast of the Humboldt Park Boat House that bears the inscription “breathe oxygen.”